Last night was a completely different night for Manchester United against Olympiacos and the performance was the polar opposite of what happened in Greece in the first leg.
It shouldn’t be a result that everybody gets carried away with but there was no doubt that the players showed they knew they owed the fans a performance.
You could have picked anyone in the side from yesterday. Everybody played their part and stepped up to the plate. It would be easy just to pick Robin Van Persie as the man of the match because he grabbed himself a hatrick but there were a couple of others that just edge it.
Firstly, Ryan Giggs. The old veteran showed Moyes exactly what he’s been getting wrong in the middle of the park. Those of you who have followed my articles know how I despise the 4-4-2 that Moyes has chosen so often. However, it’s not the formation per se, it’s the fact he plays two holding, deep-lying midfielders.
Last night, Giggs refused to sit in around the centre spot alongside Carrick and instead chose to push on and link play. That slight difference changed the dynamics completely and instead of seeing Van Persie and Rooney isolated trying to get on the end of crosses, we saw them with the ball at their feet in and around the box. When you get the ball to their feet in those positions, United will always be dangerous.
Secondly, David de Gea. It doesn’t need me to say just how good this guy is. Against Liverpool, he saved further embarrassment with a great save from Suarez and last night he made several, including an awesome double save at his near post. Make no mistake, without De Gea last night, the three goals meant nothing. Granted, some of the finishing from the Olympiacos forwards left a lot to be desired but De Gea can only stop what’s thrown at him and he did that with ease.
This is a hard one. In fact, I genuinely don’t think it would be fair to pick.
There were small things about a number of players that could be highlighted but generally every person on that pitch last night gave their all and put in a performance worthy of the shirt. The players knew they owed the fans and they delivered. Hats off to all the players.