Robin van Persie scored a glorious hat-trick to help Manchester United book a place in the Champions League quarterfinals with a 3-0 win over Olympiacos at Old Trafford.
Trailing 2-0 from the first leg in Athens, not many believed that David Moyes’ men were capable of overcoming that deficit. There were some who believed that Moyes’ job was on the line.
But despair gave way to hope when Van Persie converted a penalty kick in the 25th minute after being taken down in the penalty area.
The home side continued to attack, with 40-year old Ryan Giggs (playing like he was 20 years younger) dictating play in midfield for the Devils. It was his play that helped set up Van Persie’s second goal just before half-time.
Six minutes into the second half, the Dutch forward completed his hat-trick with a brilliantly taken free-kick.
Now trailing on aggregate, Olympiacos changed gears and began pressing for that precious away goal that would have seen them through to the quarterfinals. They had chances but couldn’t get the ball past United goalkeeper David de Gea, who had a brilliant performance.
It was a great performance and result for United – one that should relieve some pressure on Moyes.