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Manchester United v Olympiakos: Bobbins? No, on this occasion just rocking Robin van Persie


Frustrated United fans given little to cheer about this season found their full European voice at Old Trafford

Manchester United v Olympiakos: Bobbins? No, on this occasion just rocking Robin van Persie
The banner that declared David Moyes “The Chosen One” was in danger of being torn down. But it still hangs at the Stretford End after the 40-year-old Ryan Giggs – the imperishable Fergie Fledgling – returned to help save the manager’s skin.
“Giggs: tearing you apart since 1991.” That banner shouted its message from the opposite end. United, though, were in danger of tearing themselves apart until this 3-2 aggregate win against Olympiakos propelled them to the quarter-finals of the Champions League: a step too far for the noisy neighbours, Manchester City, who faced much tougher opposition in Barcelona.
United are still nowhere near the level of Sir Alex Ferguson’s time, which ended with the team as England’s champions. Greece’s best squandered chance after chance as United’s central midfield again resembled a deserted prairie at times, despite the best efforts of Giggs and the scuttling back of Wayne Rooney.
Moyes denies any rifts with Robin van Persie, the injured hat-trick scorer, and Giggs, who can no longer post 90 per cent pass completion rates but can still split a defence like a rotten melon. But it is ridiculous to pretend the United camp has been tranquil and unified. Giggs had been an increasingly peripheral figure. Van Persie had complained about team-mates invading his “space”. The body language of this United side had been awful.
Speculation was rife about senior figures inside the club starting to give up on Moyes.
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