United beats Olympiakos to reach Champions QF

The Associated Press
Bayern gets Man United, Madrid faces Dortmund
.

View gallery

MANCHESTER, England (AP) -- Manchester United still has a chance to win a trophy in David Moyes' tumult-filled first season as Alex Ferguson's successor.

Robin van Persie scored a hat trick in a 3-0 win over Olympiakos on Wednesday night that advanced United into the Champions League quarterfinals on 3-2 aggregate.

''I don't want to come out here and say this is the moment,'' Moyes said, ''but at the same time I really hope it is. We know it is a work in progress and it is going to take time to get things the way we want it.''

Borussia Dortmund, defeated by German rival Bayern Munich in last year's final, lost 2-1 at home to Zenit St. Petersburg in the night's other match but advanced on 5-4 aggregate.

Van Persie converted a penalty kick in the 25th minute, side-footed in his second goal in first-half injury time and curled a free kick past goalkeeper Roberto in the 51st. Van Persie was carried off on a stretcher in the final minutes at Old Trafford after hurting his left leg in a challenge. He seemed to be in pain, holding his face and slamming the ground with his hand.

United earned the penalty kick when van Persie received Ryan Giggs' cross-field pass and crumbled when hit in the back by Jose Holebas. Giggs sparked the second goal when he floated a pass to Wayne Rooney, who crossed for Van Persie to finish. Roberto appeared to be screened by his defensive wall when van Persie curved in the free kick for fourth Champions League goal this season and 14th overall.

''You see tonight, I'm still enjoying my football,'' said 40-year-old Giggs, who has not committed to playing another season.

With Manchester United seventh in the Premier League, winning the Champions League likely is the only chance the team has to qualify for next year's edition of Europe's top club tournament.

Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Bayern, Chelsea, Paris Saint-Germain and Real Madrid also are in the quarterfinal draw Friday.

''We probably now will go into it as underdogs,'' said Moyes, the United manager. ''Hopefully, we can do it, I don't see any reason why not. If we play to our capabilities, which we have not done too often, then I think we will be a match for any team.''

Olympiakos dominated the final 25 minutes, but David De Gea made several fine saves and center backs Phil Jones and Rio Ferdinand made timely tackles.

''We had chances. We were unlucky, and we're pretty upset about it,'' Olympiakos midfielder David Fuster said.

At Dortmund, Hulk put Zenit ahead in the 16th minute, Sebastian Kehl tied the score in the 38th and substitute Jose Rondon got the go-ahead goal in the 73rd. Dortmund forward Robert Lewandowski will be suspended for the first leg of the quarterfinals after getting a yellow card for a hand ball, his third caution of the competition.

''The yellow card was laughable,'' Dortmund coach Juergen Klopp said.

Sign up for Yahoo Fantasy Hockey
Sorry you didn't like this comment. Please provide a reason below.

Are you sure?
Rating failed. Try again.
Request failed. Try again.
We will promote constructive and witty comments to the top, so everyone sees them!
Sorry, we can’t load comments right now. Try again.
    • Kashima off to Club World Cup after eighth Japanese title

      Kashima Antlers will have only five days to celebrate their eighth J-League title before they take on New Zealand's Auckland City in the Club World Cup. Japan's most decorated club claimed the title from the most unpromising of circumstances having … More »

      Reuters - 2 hours 38 minutes ago
    • Arsenal crush West Ham thanks to Sanchez treble

      Arsenal crush West Ham thanks to Sanchez treble

      By Martyn Herman LONDON, (Reuters) - Alexis Sanchez grabbed a 15-minute hat-trick as Arsenal shook off any hangover from their midweek League Cup defeat to thrash West Ham United 5-1 and climb to second in the Premier League on Saturday. The … More »

      Reuters - 4 hours ago
    • Real leveller a "jug of cold water" for Barca's Luis Enrique

      Real leveller a "jug of cold water" for Barca's Luis Enrique

      By Richard Martin BARCELONA (Reuters) - Barcelona coach Luis Enrique could not hide his disappointment after Sergio Ramos' 90th minute equaliser denied his side victory against Real Madrid and admitted they must improve in many areas to catch the … More »

      Reuters - 4 hours ago
    • Big-game player Ramos engineers another Real escape act

      Big-game player Ramos engineers another Real escape act

      By Richard Martin BARCELONA (Reuters) - Sergio Ramos showed his enduring worth to Real Madrid with a towering 90th-minute header to salvage a 1-1 draw at Barcelona, producing the latest in a series of crucial escape acts for his side. Sent off on … More »

      Reuters - 4 hours ago
    • Chelsea's Brazilians lead tributes to Chapecoense victims

      Chelsea's Brazilians lead tributes to Chapecoense victims

      By Ian Chadband LONDON (Reuters) - Chelsea's Brazilian players led emotional Premier League tributes on Saturday to the victims of the Chapecoense football club who died in Monday's Colombian air crash. Only three of the players who flew north … More »

      Reuters - 4 hours ago