• Champions League

Moyes: We can rule Europe

ESPN staff
March 20, 2014
Can English pride be restored?

David Moyes believes Manchester United are dark horses to win the Champions League after their 3-0 victory at Old Trafford which booked them a place in Friday's quarter-final draw.

They overturned a 2-0 first leg deficit in Europe for the first time in almost 30 years, replicating the scoreline of their famous victory against Barcelona at Old Trafford on March 21, 1984 in the Cup Winners' Cup.

Despite numerous false dawns in a season of struggle and boardroom doubts emerging, Moyes now insists United can be a match for any of the other teams left in the competition.

Moyes: Job is bigger than we all expected

David Moyes insists he has not been feeling the pressure © PA Photos
  • David Moyes says he is not the only one at Manchester United who has been surprised by how hard life has been this season.
  • In a week when the club had to deny Ryan Giggs had been involved in a bust-up with his boss, Moyes said: "I'm not feeling any pressure from inside the club.It's a big job, probably bigger than we all expected when we first came in but the players have been great.
  • "I keep hearing things about 'this one's fallen out', 'someone else has fallen out' - it's rubbish. We're not just playing well enough in the games - and that's the truth behind it all."

He said: "We probably now will go into it as underdogs in a lot of the games. Hopefully we can do it, I don't see any reason why not. I think this club is capable of it.

"If we play to our capabilities which we have not done too often then I think we will be a match for any team."

Borussia Dortmund are in the last eight with United after a 5-4 aggregate win over Zenit St Petersburg; so too are Spanish trio Barcelona, Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, as well as Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Bayern Munich.

The prospect of facing any of them after Sunday's 3-0 home drubbing by Liverpool, which piled the pressure on United and Moyes, would have seemed daunting to say the least.

But The United manger was encouraged by the response he got from his players on Wednesday night.

"After Sunday's performance and result we needed to bounce back and I thought we did it with style," Moyes said. "We played very well and deservedly got our victory.

Moyes versus Ferguson

  • With David Moyes having faced judgement night against Olympiakos, how does his approach compare to that of his predecessor, Alex Ferguson, when he had to handle his own darkest hour.
  • Click here to find out

"It was a really good result in Europe. We came from two goals behind. We hadn't played well in the first leg but we put it right. We have got ourselves another two games in the Champions League. It is something we will really look forward to."

Moyes has allayed fears that Robin van Persie faces a long spell on the sidelines by describing his knee problem as "a knock."

Van Persie was stretchered off in the closing minutes after he scored the hat-trick that secured the club's place in the quarter-finals.

"I don't think he is too bad," Moyes said. "He has got a knock behind his knee. We will assess it in the morning [on Thursday]. He has got a knee in the back of his knee.

"To score a hat-trick in Champions League football is a big thing. I think there are only certain players in the world who are capable of it and Robin is one of them. Obviously he gets his penalty kick and he scored a great free kick.

"Wayne did brilliantly for him for the second goal. It's great he got a hat-trick, he is a top player and he showed that tonight."

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