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United's Moyes savouring Leverkusen test

Making his UEFA Champions League debut as a manager, Manchester United FC's David Moyes intends to do "everything I can to win it", starting with Bayer 04 Leverkusen.

United's Moyes savouring Leverkusen test
United's Moyes savouring Leverkusen test ©UEFA.com

Unsuccessful in his efforts to qualify Everton FC for the UEFA Champions League group stage during his long tenure on Merseyside, David Moyes is "really looking forward" to his first game in the competition as Manchester United FC manager.

The Group A match – United's first in Europe in 28 and a half years without Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm – pits the home side against Bayer 04 Leverkusen, whose coach Sami Hyypiä rekindled fond memories of his ten years at Liverpool FC. The former Finland defender also urged the Bundesliga outfit to approach Tuesday's encounter at Old Trafford with "no fear".

David Moyes, manager
We've got a leading team from Germany, a leading team from Spain and we have to go to Donetsk to play Shakhtar, who are pretty experienced in the Champions League, so I see it as a pretty tough group.

I go to Old Trafford and Celtic Park for Champions League games and I'm always amazed at the atmosphere. It plays a big part here, too, at Old Trafford. I've only been here a short time, but with the crowd, under the lights on a Champions League night, I'm hoping that will give the supporters something to shout about. The players are already motivated because of the level of the game and the competition, so we're going to try and put on a good show.

I'm really looking forward to it. Sami Hyypiä is new to it as well, so it's not just one of us. I've always wanted to get to the Champions League. I did everything I possibly could at Everton to make that happen. Now I've got another route into it with Manchester United and I'm going to do everything I possibly can now to win it.

Weekend result
Saturday: United 2-0 Crystal Palace FC (Van Persie 45+1pen, Rooney 81)
De Gea; Fabio, Ferdinand, Vidić, Evra; Carrick, Anderson (Fellaini 62); Valencia, Rooney, Young (Januzaj 67); Van Persie (Hernández 79).

• Moyes picked up his first home league win as United manager as deadline-day signing Marouane Fellaini made his debut as a second-half substitute. Wayne Rooney sealed the victory with his opening goal of the campaign.

Team news
Rooney wore a headband against Palace to protect the severe gash which had prevented him from playing for England earlier this month. Danny Welbeck (knee) is doubtful, while Phil Jones (ankle), Rafael (hamstring) and Darren Fletcher (bowel condition) are all definitely out.

Sami Hyypiä, coach
It was completely different operating in England as a player, a lot simpler. However, I'm happy to be back in England and looking forward to tomorrow's game. We're coming up against fierce opposition in a fantastic ground. Every coach and player loves playing in the Champions League. Hopefully we can play to our potential and get a result.

I played my final 90 minutes as a Liverpool player here and we won 4-1. That day was special and I played well. United have big expectations this season and I think he [David Moyes] is under more pressure than me. We can go into the game relaxed – we need to enjoy it. We must respect our opponents, but not too much. I will rally the troops in order for them to play with no fear.

It's not the first time that United have started a season slowly. David Moyes is an experienced manager and he needs time to get things right. I hope we can give them enough problems and halt their rhythm.

Weekend result
Saturday: Leverkusen 3-1 VfL Wolfsburg (Sam 24, Kiessling 65 90+2; Olić 39)
Leno; Hilbert (Donati 74), Wollscheid, Spahić, Boenisch; Reinartz, Castro, Rolfes, Sam (Kruse 88); Son (Can 81), Kiessling.

• Leverkusen earned their fourth win in five in the 2013/14 Bundesliga. They scored with their first real chance thanks to Sidney Sam's pace, but needed two Stefan Kiessling goals after the break to secure the three points against a Wolfsburg side who ended the match with ten men.

Team news
Gonzalo Castro is ruled out with a thigh injuiry, while there are fitness concerns over Lars Bender (hip) and Jens Hegeler (hamstring).

Match fact
• This is United's first European fixture without Sir Alex Ferguson at the helm since 20 March 1985 when Ron Atkinson's side went out of the UEFA Cup quarter-finals against eventual runners-up Videoton FC in Hungary, losing 1-0 on the night and 5-4 on penalties after a 1-1 aggregate draw.

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