Dec 16

United handed good draw

Tag: Manchester United News @ 11:49 am

1093282-17368821-640-360Manchester United will face Olympiacos in the round of 16 of the Champions League, after David Moyes’ men were drawn against the Greek champions in today’s draw in Nyon.

Having won their group, United had put themselves into a relatively safe position as they could not be drawn against the likes of Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Real Madrid or Barcelona and they’ll go into the round of 16 fancying their chances to reach the quarter finals for the first time since the 2010-11 season.

Olympiacos finished runners-up in Group C, three points behind group winners PSG and qualified on goal difference having finished equal on points with Benfica.

Michel’s men got their Champions League campaign off to the wrong start as they suffered a 4-1 defeat on home turf at the hands of PSG, before steadying the ship with an away win at Anderlecht and a draw at Benfica, followed by a home win over the Portuguese.

A narrow defeat away at PSG was followed by a 3-1 win over Anderlecht which clinched their spot in the last 16 but they’ll undoubtedly be the underdogs against United, particularly given the solidity Moyes’ club has shown in Europe so far this season.

United will be reunited with Roy Carroll, with the Northern Irishman who left  now in his second season with Athens’ red and whites – his third overall in Greece after spell at OFI Crete -but will have to keep an eye on former Barca striker Javier Saviola and, more importantly, Kostas Mitroglou.

The 25-year-old striker caught the headlines as he netted a hat-trick in his side’s 3-0 win away at Anderlecht on Champions League matchday two this season – his third hat-trick in less than a month – and was instrumental as Greece reached the World Cup finals, after knocking Romania out in the play-offs.

United, however, will enter the knockout tie on the back of an excellent record, as they have won all four of their previous meetings with Olympiacos, all of them coming at the group stage of the competition.

In the 2001-02 season, David Beckham and Andy Cole scored in a 2-0 win in Athens, before late goals from Ole Gunnar Solskjaer, Ryan Giggs and Ruud Van Nistelrooy sealed a 3-0 win at Old Trafford, while 12 months later United put four past the Greek side at home – Ryan Giggs scoring twice, with Juan Sebastian Veron and Diego Forlan also on the scoresheet – but needed a late winner from Paul Scholes to secure a 3-2 win in Athens, after they had squandered a two-goal lead.

United have got they draw they wanted, no time for complacency now.

Dan


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Tags: Manchester United News

5 Responses to “United handed good draw”

  • Couldn’t of asked for a better draw than this so there can’t be any excuses if we don’t progress.Be nice to see barca knock the bitters out and Drogba to put one over on the rent boys to make a perfect round.

    • @THE RED BARON: Good draw indeed, we should qualify quite comfortably, and I think the solidity we’ve shown in Europe so far this season will come in handy. As for the other draws, it might be an unpopular opinion and it pains me to say but i think the berties might turn barca over.

      • @Dan: Think you could be Wright about the bitters. Don’t like to say it but they look a totally solid team at the moment. As utd fan looking forward to these games, as a football fan I think this draw has thrown up some cracking tyes.

  • Andrija Djuranovic

    Nice draw. I really do not expect problems here-I think that we will all but secure 1/4 finals in the first game. I predict 0:2 win or something like that.

  • With an easy draw and the high probability that by the later stages of the competition we will be resigned to a midtable finish we could well have a good run in Europe. Somehow in Europe our soft centre is less exposed than it is in the Premiership (although in fairness our group was fairly easy as usual) and the advanced age of players like Carrick, Rio, Evra and Vidic is less of a liability.

    We are not good enough to win it but we should make the quarters and if we avoid Bayern, Barcelona or Real Madrid we even have a good chance of making the semis.

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