Embattled Manchester United manager David Moyes has made the Red Devils fans start to believe or even dream positively following the Uefa Champions League quarter-final performance.
Many pundits had down played Manchester United’s possibility to get a good result against reigning champions Bayern Munich.
The first leg game at Old Trafford ended 1-1 and Moyes went along way to silence his critics after he managed a hard-fought draw against 10-men Bayern team.
The former Everton manager, Moyes has been under intense pressure from a big section of United faithful and criticism of his managerial skills. However, his tactical approach against Bayern, especially in the second half, told a different story.
He has been emotionally distressed for months. We have to accept that every successful man has to go through difficult times and perhaps this is one of the darkest periods for the Scot, who was handpicked by Sir Alex Ferguson as his successor.
During their 4-1 win over Aston Villa on Saturday, Moyes looked defiant in the face of a fly past protest from angry United fans.
But after the second half performance against Bayern, one tends to feel the former Everton coach should be given time to stamp his authority on the reigning English Premier league champions, struggling in seventh position and likely to miss out on playing in Europe next season.
United were tactically organised on Tuesday against one of the best offensive teams in the world and who already wrapped up the German Bundesliga title in record time.
Man United defense that has leaked so many goals in the Premier League, was seemingly well organised and stood up to every threat.
I think all English teams have mastered defensive approach against Bayern Munich. Manchester United defended like Arsenal during their last-16 knock-out elimination and the only difference is that United finished with 11 players.
Another notable difference is that United managed to counteract and stop Bayern’s ball possession and I think this is where Pep Guardiola is to blame. Thomas Muller was deployed a wrong no.9 who did not match the physical strength of the aging Rio Ferdinand and Nemanja Vidic.
Though a draw at home does not guarantee United’s qualification to the semis, they can exploit Bayern defensive weaknesses in the second leg next Wednesday. United have to score at Bayern and make sure they stop the holders from their usual possession dominance.
I’m sure United will attack more profoundly as a goalless draw helps the Germans, who will be expected to offer more in terms of offensive play through wingers Ribery and Robben.
Javi Martinez and Bastian Schweinsteiger are both suspended for the second leg that gives Bayern a little bit of bite to think about but they do have able replacements.
Brazilian defender Dante was suspended during the first leg and will be back to fill the void of Javi Martinez. Bastian’s role will be filled by either Tony Kroos or captain Philip Lahm.
I still do believe Bayern have an edge over United but will have to improve their game to win in Munich.