Champions League - Paper Round: United were clueless, aimless and hopeless

Reaction from this morning's newspapers after Manchester United's "clueless", "inadequate", "uninspired", "dreadful" and "insipid" performance against Olympiacos in the Champions League.

Henry Winter in the Daily Telegraph: "This was a performance riddled with errors from the players and the manager, David Moyes. United were too cautious in design, too clueless in possession and too generous with space, presenting Olympiacos with time and room to score. Beware Greeks burying gifts. This was a United side that its increasing band of detractors would argued appeared only marginally behind the Acropolis as a rebuilding project."

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Martin Samuel in the Daily Mail: "Manchester United contrived to lose their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday night to also-rans. Not one of the great names of the competition. Not one of the potential winners. Olympiacos. Not Bayern Munich or Barcelona. Olympiacos. Not master coach Pep Guardiola. Michel. Not Lionel Messi. Alejandro Dominguez.

"This may well be the worst night of David Moyes’s brief time as United manager. Until now, Europe had been his saving grace. A confident, barnstorming display against Bayer Leverkusen, the only team in the tournament not to have trailed in any match. Until now. United did not so much trail Olympiacos as bob helplessly in their wake. They looked frightened, inadequate, uninspired. They were not unfortunate or hard done by. There were no excuses left."

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Matt Dickinson in The Times: "Manchester United are about to be banished into Champions League exile and after a night as dreadful as this, only the reckless were forecasting when they will be back. Who will still be there — in the dug-out, on the pitch — when they do return? The rebuilding job seems to require at least another £50 million every time we look at this side bereft of zest and hope.

"What will it take? £150 million? £200 million? The Glazers can give David Moyes more money than he knows what to do with but, while it can buy better players, you cannot shop for the confidence, desire and defiance that this self-pitying squad so shockingly lack. This was a new low for Moyes, a 2-0 defeat by one of the weakest teams left in the competition. It was a performance that offered no consolations aside from the fact that it could have been worse, so limp was the response to Olympiacos’s spirited, yet still limited, attacks."

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David McDonnell in the Daily Mirror: "Manchester City, Arsenal and now United all lost 2-0 in the first round of last 16 matches, but at least the former two had the mitigation of playing with 10 men for much of their games. United, with a full complement of players, could not even hide behind that excuse, with Moyes’s side insipid throughout, lacking any threat up front, authority in midfield and composure in defence.

"On the back of their failed Premier League title defence, FA Cup and Capital One Cup exits, United are now facing the ignominy of missing out on a fourth and final chance of silverware this term. Even if they manage to turn this tie around at Old Trafford in three weeks and win by three clear goals, it is fanciful to think they can advance any further on the evidence of this meek performance."

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Jamie Jackson in The Guardian: "In a season of lows this is surely a nadir from which Manchester United now have to respond. To lose away to Olympiacos, the Greek champions of a league some way below the standard of England's top flight, in the easiest of last-16 draws for United, will cause the most serious post mortem yet. What is alarming for David Moyes is that United never looked close to scoring."

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Kevin Garside in The Independent: "This was another telling result in a season full of them. You wonder how long the patience of the Old Trafford hierarchy will last. The Moyes narrative has relied on the idea that things are not quite what they used to be, but he cannot be allowed to hide behind the idea of a fading squad.

"His team is spearheaded by the highest-paid player in English football. It is the job of the coach to set the tempo, to establish a method and the kind of atmosphere that allows players such as Wayne Rooney and Robin van Persie to flourish."

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