The Olympiacos lessons Man United can learn to win Champs Lge

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Let’s not get carried away, the raucous night the Red Devils delivered in beating Olympiacos to advance to the Champions League’s quarter finals, a competition they are last in the market to win at 18/1, must be built on.

Luckily there were plenty of positive lessons for David Moyes to learn that can help him realise his Champions League dream, as winning the tournament is his only hope of playing in next season’s edition:

Let Giggs set the tempo

Obviously there are serious problems rooted in the fact that a 40-year-old must be relied upon to get the pulse of the side racing but, as we’ve alluded to already, there is a solution to that quandary in the offing.

In the meantime though, the Welshman is Moyes’ only viable foil for Michael Carrick in central midfield on Champions League nights.

A 90-minute appearance proves fitness isn’t an issue, while his supreme direct passing reinvigorated Robin van Persie and helped rekindle the Dutchman’s partnership with Wayne Rooney.

Stick with Ferdinand and Jones

The toppling of the Greek champions was the English pair’s fourth straight victory when starting a game together, none of which has seen the opposition score a goal with the last three all coming in the Champions League.

Yes, Jones was completely embarrassed by Joel Campbell’s turn of pace in the first half and, yes, some of those previous wins saw the gurning youngster start in midfield.

But this is a partnership that harks back to the early Vidic/Ferdinand days that were once so dominant for United, with Jones the aggressor and the former West Ham man on hand to sweep up.

Persist with pace

What United have lacked this season is speed, both in their style of play and in their personnel.

With Danny Welbeck and Antonio Valencia proving willing runners in behind their opposing full-backs, it forced United forward as Giggs looked to find them with ranging balls.

The change in intensity and drive was a refreshing sight and must be stuck with if United are to progress any further in the competition.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.