It is expected that at their poorest, Manchester United would be in the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League at any given season. The abominable start to their current season made us and their followers to question their abilities to win anything anywhere. Olympiakos of Greece made us think we were all ever correct with that 2-0 home victory. This was rubbed in by Liverpool's 3-0 league triumph at Old Trafford a few days ago.
Prior to the match, one could feel a great sense of urgency on the players. The start of the match proved exactly that and then there was this fear that all this would come back backfiring due to the anxiety to perform in front of the vociferous home crowd. Despite the development of the match, few people could have bet on them winning 3-0, let alone with a Robin van Persie hat-trick.
It has been such a long time since I saw such commitment is combat. The Red Devils threw their bodies on the line, literally. I was humbled by the sheer determination of all departments, something a coach cannot build or instill. The easiest thing to say, if one did not watch the match, is to say the Greeks are a week team. That is totally wrong. They may be, but on the time, their play could have upset Bayern Munich or Barcelona but Manchester United could have none of that.
For the Man U faithfuls, the prayer is to produce such a performance week in and week out and that is not possible. It is a once in a year outing where everyone pulls off all stops in sync. David Moyes' charges may go all the way and win it but they will never produce display that anytime soon. Winning any further matches in Europe against any remaining teams means that the opposition has to put less because United dug deep to get where they are and they should be proud.