Football

Published: Wednesday February 26, 2014 MYT 9:57:02 PM
Updated: Wednesday February 26, 2014 MYT 9:57:02 PM

Olympiakos bask in glory of 'epic display'

Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand (L) struggles for the ball against Olympiakos'Jose Holebas during their Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match at Karaiskaki stadium in Piraeus, near Athens, February 25, 2014. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

Manchester United's Rio Ferdinand (L) struggles for the ball against Olympiakos'Jose Holebas during their Champions League round of 16 first leg soccer match at Karaiskaki stadium in Piraeus, near Athens, February 25, 2014. REUTERS/Yorgos Karahalis

ATHENS (Reuters) - The Greek media lavished praise on Olympiakos Piraeus on Wednesday after the Athens side made history with a first-ever victory over Manchester United in the Champions League as David Moyes's troubled first season in charge continues to unravel.

United's dwindling hopes of winning silverware this season are dangling by a thread after they produced a turgid display against the Greek champions, who eased to a 2-0 victory in their last-16 first leg encounter on Tuesday.

For Olympiakos, unbeaten in the domestic league and full of confidence under the guidance of Spanish coach Miguel, the victory was celebrated as a history-making breakthrough against the Premier League giants after four previous failures.

"United who? Legends of Europe, Olympiakos!" declared popular tabloid SportDay in its headline, adding: "The real Red Devils made United look like also-rans with an epic display."

Alejandro Dominguez opened the scoring with a clever first-half flick and Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell added a sublime second half goal to leave United facing a huge task to overturn the deficit in the return match at Old Trafford on March 19.

"Legends of Dreams," said another prominent sports daily Goal News, adding: "Olympiakos leave the whole of Europe speechless with the greatest win of their history."

One of the standout performers on the night was Campbell, who is likely to feature for Costa Rica against Group D rivals England at the World Cup in Brazil in June.

The 21-year-old picked up the ball well outside the penalty area, before jinking past holding midfielder Michael Carrick and sending a curling left-foot shot around defender Rio Ferdinand and into the bottom corner of the net.

"I dedicated the goal to my father, who was in the crowd. When I scored, I ran towards where he was sitting and shouted out that I loved him... it was a special moment," he told reporters.

"We got exactly what we deserved out of the game and we can look forward to the return leg. It will be vital for us to get a goal over there. If we manage to score then the tie will be over."

(Editing by John O'Brien)

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