Manchester United vs. Olympiakos: David Moyes' last stand?

Laurence Griffiths

Manchester United's game against Olympiakos could well be a do-or-die moment for David Moyes.

It's been suggested by various sources in the press that the Liverpool-Olympiakos-Manchester City triptych would decide David Moyes' fate on way other other, whether ultimately making it impossible for him to carry on or resulting in his immediate dismissal or resignation. And here we are, one down, two to go.

Olympiakos is perhaps the strangest of the three. Just as European football and away goals can produce the unique instants to send a team to heaven or hell without any purgatory in between, the prospect of a comeback tonight will be the same in a wider sense. Yes, the first leg was a regrettable disaster. Fail to progress, and that disaster will have happened twice. Succeed, and it will be an impressive comeback. There is no in between - either another new low, or the undoubted highlight of Moyes' reign so far.

There's also the small matter of it being the only competition in which United have anything left to play for. It's true that no team seems less likely to win the Champions League, but the memory of a comeback under Moyes against Olympiakos spurring the team on to compete at their level for the next round is not out of the question, and is probably the last hope Moyes is clinging to.

The best part of the Liverpool game was undoubtedly an hour before kick-off, when the team we all wanted was announced. Then it didn't quite go to plan, yet we'll still be hoping for the same set of players to turn out tonight (minus, of course, Juan Mata.) We can blame David Moyes and point out that, however we feel, the players aren't playing for him. But if they can't gee themselves up for a European knockout game and a chance to progress to the Quarter-Finals, then we have far deeper problems than the manager.

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