Manchester United F.C. fired to magnificent comeback by Robin Van Persie in Champions League tie vs Olympiakos

Mar 20 2014, 13:01 IST
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SummaryManchester United F.C. beat Olympiakos Piraeus 3-0 to overturn a 2-0 first-leg deficit and reach the Champions League quarter-finals.

Manchester United F.C. was ushered into the Champions League quarterfinals by Robin van Persie - and potentially saved his manager's job - with a hat trick in a 3-0 victory over Olympiakos that completed one of the competition's greatest comebacks on Wednesday.

On one of the memorable European nights at Old Trafford, Van Persie scored three times in a 27-minute span either side of halftime to overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg. A slew of brilliant saves by David de Gea were also key to a famous win for the English champions and a vital one for their manager, David Moyes.

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Moyes' position had come under intense scrutiny after Manchester United F.C.'s humiliating 3-0 loss to fierce rival Liverpool in the Premier League on Sunday, the latest in a string of dreadful results in his first season in charge.

An early exit in Europe could have stretched the patience of fans and Manchester United F.C.'s hierarchy beyond breaking point but Moyes is left hoping this can be a watershed moment in his Manchester United F.C. career.

"I don't want to come out here and say this is the moment,'' Moyes said, ``but at the same time, I really hope it is.''

A nerve-shredding night ended with Olympiakos captain Giannis Maniatis on his knees and in floods of tears, and Moyes saluting home fans and wearing the broadest grin.

The under-fire Manchester United F.C. manager was saved by the goal-scoring qualities of Van Persie, who converted a penalty in the 25th minute, side-footed home his second goal in first-half injury time and curled in a free kick in the 52nd. And he also had words of praise for Ryan Giggs, who at the age of 40 delivered a tireless performance in midfield.

Giggs lasted the full match, despite having played only 81 minutes since Jan. 7, and played a crucial role in Van Persie's first two goals.

"His all-round play was very good,'' Moyes said. "He defies his age.''

Van Persie was carried off on a stretcher in the final minutes after hurting his leg in a challenge but Moyes said he didn't think it was a serious injury.

Olympiakos slumped to its 12th straight away defeat in England and missed out on securing a place in the last eight for the first time since 1999.

The Greek champions had their chances some of

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