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Olympiacos FC goalscorer Alejandro Domínguez was caught up in the whirl of a "historic night for the club" as he celebrated the 2-0 UEFA Champions League round of 16 first-leg success against Manchester United FC.
The hard-running Argentinian midfielder could not hide his emotions after the triumph in Piraeus, telling UEFA.com: "I am so happy. I am very satisfied with the team's work and the victory we achieved. I believe we have made a big step – a giant leap forward. The tie is not over, we have the away leg to come, but we should enjoy today's result. For me, this is a historic night for the club and we are thrilled."
The 32-year-old's clever first-half flick gave Míchel's side the lead, with his thumb-in-mouth celebration a tribute to his third son, Tiziano, born on Friday. Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell – on loan from United's Premier League rivals Arsenal FC – then made it 2-0 with a well-flighted shot from outside the box on 55 minutes. "The coaching staff prepared us in detail and everything went exactly as planned," said Domínguez. "We were at our absolute best. With everything going perfectly for us, we had a great match and made a big step towards qualification."
Pundits in England showed United little mercy after what was regarded as a below-par performance – and a first European loss under manager David Moyes – but for all their domestic travails, the English champions remain a hard team to beat. "Manchester United are not easy opponents," insisted Domínguez, whose past employers include FC Rubin Kazan, FC Zenit and Valencia CF. "They know this competition and have to be respected. However, we have our weapons on the pitch – we gave it everything and achieved a great result which is massive for us."
Olympiacos acknowledge that the tie is far from over, not least since they will kick off the return match on 19 March having yet to avoid defeat in 11 games in England – and having succumbed 3-0 and 4-0 on their previous Old Trafford visits. Domínguez, though, hopes to make a break with the past. "We are here to change history," he said. "We have faith in our ability to change these statistics, to put in a big effort and produce another great display like tonight's in order to clinch qualification."
United, meanwhile, are licking their wounds. "It's a disappointing night," said midfielder Michael Carrick said. "We came here hoping to win and we haven't done that. We didn't react in the second half until it was too late. We had good possession in the first half, controlling the game without really penetrating through their lines and causing them problems. They didn't really cause us any problems and [Domínguez's] goal came from nothing.
"We didn't start the second half well – we were a bit sloppy and they scored the second, which put us on the back foot," he added. "But we're not out of the tie. We are still in with a chance and we'll look forward to the second leg.
Don't get me wrong: to score three goals in this competition is tough, but we've done it before and believe we can do it again."
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