What's buzzing:

Moyes must trust survival instincts if Olympiakos comeback is to be his Manchester United turning point

Goal.com

MANCHESTER -- These nights don't come easy and Manchester United won't give them up without a fight. These spring evenings have become the club's reason for being. 

For David Moyes, this was well and truly it. As all hopes of retaining the Premier League title collapsed amid the ongoing aftershock of Sir Alex Ferguson's departure from Old Trafford, Europe is all that has remained this season. In it the team is just about standing, but still United quakes. 

This 3-0 victory over Olympiakos in front of a Stretford End still somehow keeping the faith and not, despite the pre-match rumors, tearing down the Moyes-adorned 'Chosen One banner', is not enough proof of a corner turned for this football club. But, finally, there is hope. 

CLASS IS PERMANENT
PLAYER RATING | ROBIN VAN PERSIE

Has been out of form in recent weeks but well and truly delivered when it mattered with an outstanding hat trick. Broke the deadlock from the penalty spot before ruthlessly making it 2-0 just before halftime. Sent his side through with a fine free kick before picking up a worrying knock late on.
PLAYER RATING | RYAN GIGGS

Started in the center of midfield after a controversial couple of days and didn't take long to show his class, setting Welbeck away with a stunning ball and playing the pass that led to Van Persie's penalty. Dictated the game from the middle.

Moyes said so himself. "I don't want to come out and say "this is the moment" but I really hope it is," he admitted after being questioned whether the victory would galvanize his players and provide a springboard for an end of season flourish. 

The United manager spoke like a man whose conviction had, frankly, been beaten out of him.

If Moyes had been left under any illusions, good or bad, as to what being the manager of Manchester United is and means, the past week will have shattered them. From relentless to raucous, the pain is sharper, the focus more intense and, as he will have experienced this evening, the thrills are just that bit more thrilling.  

Following Sunday's humiliation at home to Liverpool - which Moyes couldn't help but apologetically refer to twice during his post-match press conference - there was a sense of the slate being cleaned tonight. He now must look forward and forget the histrionics. 

After all, there were personal victories for Moyes within the disposal of Olympiakos. His decision to start Ryan Giggs for the first time since January 7 proved to be a masterstroke. The Welshman, who is reportedly unhappy with his new manager's approach, didn't play like a man fighting against the cause. He was spellbinding. As his manager said after the game, he simply "defies his age". 

Robin van Persie, another United star said to be less than impressed by the former Everton boss, finally delivered the type of performance that saw him guide the club to its 20th title last season, securing a hat trick before being stretchered off late on with a knock. If the Dutchman wants Moyes out he has a funny way of showing it.  

To Moyes, it simply shouldn't matter. After nine months of trying and failing to please all comers off the pitch, the United boss needs to first and foremost focus on the issues on it if he is to survive.  

WHAT DO YOU #PLAYFOR?
For more information on Chevrolet's 'What do you #PlayFor?' campaign, visit ChevroletFC.com.

His performance during the game - a vocal, engaged presence in the technical area in complete contrast to the slumped, seated figure of Sunday - gave the impression of a manager taking responsibility for a club which is still facing an unprecedented decline. For now at least, it remains his job to reverse it. 

United entered 90 minutes of Champions League football for the first time in living memory not knowing when the club would get another chance at it if it failed. 

That, however, was never really an option and with that in mind Moyes' side delivered a performance of such confidence that you sensed it was innate for this group of players.

As such, improbably, this season lives on at Old Trafford. United and Moyes endure. 

View Comments (4)
  • Derrick, Montagliani launch bids to lead CONCACAF

    By Simon Evans MIAMI (Reuters) - Caribbean Football Union president Gordon Derrick and Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani announced on Monday they will stand as candidates for the presidency of the troubled CONCACAF regional … More »

    Reuters - 5 hours ago
  • Real Sociedad overwhelm Espanyol 5-0 in the Spanish league

    Real Sociedad stormed to its biggest win of the season when it overwhelmed Espanyol 5-0 in the Spanish league on Monday. Mexico forward Carlos Vela stunned Espanyol's defence when he hit a long pass for Brazilian striker Jonathas to open the … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago
  • Messi undergoes tests for kidney problems

    Messi undergoes tests for kidney problems

    (Reuters) - Barcelona striker Lionel Messi is expected to play in Wednesday's King's Cup semi-final against Valencia despite missing training on Monday to have tests on his kidneys, the La Liga club said. "Barcelona striker Lionel Messi will … More »

    Reuters - 6 hours ago
  • Derrick and Montagliani launch bids for CONCACAF top job

    Derrick and Montagliani launch bids for CONCACAF top job

    By Simon Evans MIAMI (Reuters) - Caribbean Football Union president Gordon Derrick and Canadian Soccer Association president Victor Montagliani both announced on Monday that they will be candidates for president of the troubled regional … More »

    Reuters - 6 hours ago
  • Resilient Dunn shoots for a trip to Rio

    Resilient Dunn shoots for a trip to Rio

    After she was left off the U.S. World Cup roster last year, Crystal Dunn says there were days she didn't even want to get out of bed in the morning. Dunn turned her disappointment into drive. Dunn is a versatile 23-year-old midfielder for the U.S. … More »

    AP - Sports - 6 hours ago