Manchester United's disaster season continued on Tuesday in Greece, where Olympiacos thumped them 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League round of 16 tie. The Red Devils now head back to Old Trafford 90 minutes away from elimination and maybe the end of their season in reality, having been knocked out of both cups already and falling further and further out of the race for fourth in the league.
Olympiacos looked the better side from the very start. Buoyed by a raucous home crowd, the Greeks pressured the dreadful United midfield and forced giveaway after giveaway. One almost led to an early goal, but a late tackle by Nemanja Vidic saved the Red Devils.
It wasn't as if Olympiacos were overly good, often struggling to connect passes, but United were terrible. Most of the first half was unwatchable and it looked like it might go to halftime scoreless, but Alejandro Dominguez ensured it wouldn't. The Argentinean put the home side in front seven minutes before the break when his shot from 20 yards took a deflection, sending David De Gea the wrong way before trickling over the line.
The first half was a shocker for United, who had played well over the weekend and showed signs of a turnaround, but with Marouane Fellaini, Juan Mata and Adnan Januzaj out, they couldn't replicate their form.
Things didn't change after the break and before the hour mark, Olympiacos were 2-0 up. Joel Campbell hit an absolute rocket from 25 yards that found the corner of the net and Manchester United's bad day got worse.
Even down two goals, United couldn't get things going. The introduction of Shinji Kagawa helped some, but not nearly enough. Even Robin van Persie wasn't good, wasting a golden chance late on when he sent it 10 yards over the bar.
When the final whistle went, Karaiskakis Stadium exploded. Not only had Olympiacos won and done so without allowing an away goal, but they were the better side. Now the Greeks head to Old Trafford having every reason to believe they can make their way to the quarterfinals. For Manchester United, well, it was more of the same in a season to forget.
Olympiacos: Roberto, Holebas, Manolas, Marcano, Salino, Maniatis, Ndinga, Perez (Valdez 86'), Campbell (Fuster 67'), Dominguez (Machado 76'), Olaitan.
Goals: Dominguez 38', Campbell 54'.
Manchester United: De Gea, Evra, Ferdinand, Smalling, Vidic, Rooney, Carrick, Young, Cleverley (Kagawa 61'), Valencia (Welbeck 60'), van Persie.