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Van Persie treble sparks United revival

Published: Wednesday 19 March 2014, 22.52CET
Manchester United FC 3-0 Olympiacos FC (agg: 3-2)
Robin van Persie's first UEFA Champions League hat-trick sealed a famous comeback that took United into a first quarter-final since 2011.
by Simon Hart
from Old Trafford

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Match statistics

Man. UnitedOlympiacos

Goals scored3
 
0
Possession (%)49
 
51
Total attempts12
 
14
on target9
 
7
off target3
 
7
blocked1
 
3
against woodwork0
 
0
Corners8
 
7
Offsides4
 
3
Yellow cards3
 
4
Red Cards0
 
0
Fouls committed14
 
17
Fouls suffered16
 
14
Passes464
 
485
completed309
 
327

Standings

 
Published: Wednesday 19 March 2014, 22.52CET

Van Persie treble sparks United revival

Manchester United FC 3-0 Olympiacos FC (agg: 3-2)
Robin van Persie's first UEFA Champions League hat-trick sealed a famous comeback that took United into a first quarter-final since 2011.

On an electric night at Old Trafford, Manchester United FC rediscovered that old never-say-die spirit as Robin van Persie's hat-trick earned a famous comeback victory over Olympiacos FC and a place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.

Well beaten in the round of 16 first leg in Piraeus, David Moyes's men overturned that 2-0 deficit thanks to Van Persie's first UEFA Champions League treble. The back-to-form Dutchman opened the scoring from the penalty spot, added a second on the cusp of half-time and then completed the turnaround with a free-kick soon after the restart.

Just when it mattered, United managed to breathe new life into their troubled season, and ease some of the pressure on Moyes. It was 30 years ago this week that they last overcame such a deficit – against FC Barcelona in the European Cup Winners' Cup – and this was an impressive recovery by a team who had suffered a crushing defeat by Liverpool FC only three days earlier.

Here, driven on by the irrepressible Wayne Rooney, they were full of pace and vibrancy, although it was old head Ryan Giggs who stole the show in the first half. On his first start since late January he imposed his enduring class, providing an early cross for Rooney and it took a combination of post and goalkeeper Roberto to keep out the header.

Olympiacos did not sit back but United gradually pushed on and Giggs was the architect of the breakthrough goal in the 25th minute, directing a wonderful pass from just inside the opposition half on to the chest of Van Persie inside the area. Bundled over by José Holebas, Van Persie buried the resulting penalty past Roberto.

United almost had a second goal in the 35th minute when Evra got his head to Van Persie's corner but Roberto thrust out a hand to save. Olympiacos, who celebrated winning the Greek title last weekend, nearly had a goal themselves on 40 minutes as David de Gea denied them with a brilliant double save, using his feet to stop David Fuster's header and then Alejandro Domínguez's follow-up shot.

That proved pivotal as United soon made it 2-0, working the ball right down the pitch to Rooney whose low cross from the right was swept in by Van Persie. Within six minutes of the restart, the comeback – and Van Persie's hat-trick – was complete. After the lively Danny Welbeck was felled on the edge of the box, the Dutchman lifted his set piece over the wall and beyond the flatfooted Roberto.

Míchel's Olympiacos, dreaming of a first quarter-final since 1999, sought a response but De Gea's subsequent saves from Fuster and Domínguez ensured this was United's night.

Last updated: 19/06/14 12.40CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2014/matches/round=2000480/match=2011866/postmatch/report/index.html#van+persie+seals+comeback

Lineups

man. united

Man. United

olympiacos

Olympiacos

1
De GeaDavid de Gea (GK)
16
RobertoRoberto (GK)
2
RafaelRafael
2
ManiatisGiannis Maniatis (C)
3
EvraPatrice Evra (C)
Yellow Card61
8
N'DingaDelvin N'Dinga
4
JonesPhil Jones
17
PerézHernán Peréz
Substitution57
5
FerdinandRio Ferdinand
Yellow Card90+1
19
David FusterDavid Fuster
Substitution82
10
RooneyWayne Rooney
20
HolebasJosé Holebas
11
GiggsRyan Giggs
24
ManolasKostas Manolas
Yellow Card6
16
CarrickMichael Carrick
Yellow Card10
25
MarcanoIván Marcano
Yellow Card90+1
19
WelbeckDanny Welbeck
Substitution82
26
CampbellJoel Campbell
20
Van PersieRobin van Persie
Goal25
Goal45+1
Goal52
Substitution90+1
30
Leandro SalinoLeandro Salino
Yellow Card62
Substitution74
25
A. ValenciaAntonio Valencia
Substitution77
35
DomínguezAlejandro Domínguez
Yellow Card10

Substitutes

13
LindegaardAnders Lindegaard (GK)
42
MegyeriBalázs Megyeri (GK)
14
HernándezJavier Hernández
5
Paulo MachadoPaulo Machado
Substitution74
18
YoungAshley Young
Substitution77
14
SamarisAndreas Samaris
24
D. FletcherDarren Fletcher
Substitution82
18
ValdezNelson Valdez
Substitution57
26
KagawaShinji Kagawa
21
A. PapadopoulosAvraam Papadopoulos
31
FellainiMarouane Fellaini
Substitution90+1
28
VergosNikos Vergos
Substitution82
44
JanuzajAdnan Januzaj
88
BongGaëtan Bong

Coach

David Moyes (SCO) Míchel (ESP)

Referee

Björn Kuipers (NED)

Assistant referees

Angelo Boonman (NED), Erwin Zeinstra (NED)

Fourth official

Charles Schaap (NED)

Additional assistant referees

Pol van Boekel (NED), Richard Liesveld (NED)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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