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Why Moyes Is Right to Be Satisfied with Result

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 17:  Manchester United manager David Moyes looks on during the UEFA Champions League Group A match between Manchester United and Bayer Leverkusen at Old Trafford on September 17, 2013 in Manchester, England.  (Photo by Michael Regan/Getty Images)
Michael Regan/Getty Images
Rob GoldbergFeatured ColumnistJune 9, 2016

Manchester United fans are not too happy with the club's performance as of late, but the latest draw against Shakhtar Donetsk is nothing to be ashamed about.

Manager David Moyes had this to say after the 1-1 result in Donbass Arena:

It was a good point in the Champions League coming here, they've got a great record against English teams here. The team stood up well tonight, they got a good goal early doors and I thought we looked as if we were going to stop them scoring; we defended very well.

After a terrible start to the Premier League season, fans are starting to lose faith in the new manager. Last year's champions are currently 12th in the table thanks to only two wins and one draw in six matches.

The club's last two league matches were particularly embarrassing. A blowout 4-1 loss to Manchester City was followed by a home loss to West Brom as one of the lowest points in Old Trafford in a long time.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 28:  Wayne Rooney (L) of Manchester United reacts after West Bromwich Albion open the scoring the Barclays Premier League match between Manchester United and West Bromwich Albion at Old Trafford on September 28, 2013 in Man
Alex Livesey/Getty Images

It would be understandable for Moyes to claim a draw as a good thing to make himself look better. However, that's not what's happening in this case.

United entered an imposing environment Wednesday and saw some success where few others have seen any. Fellow Premier League clubs Arsenal and Chelsea have lost at Donbass Arena in Champions League play since 2010.

Even Borussia Dortmund could only force a draw last season en route to its appearance in the tournament final.

To make things tougher, Manchester United was shorthanded without two of its most productive players on the roster. Wayne Rooney—who had two goals and an assist in the last UCL match—was out with a shin injury. Rio Ferdinand was also left off the roster due to a groin injury. 

Still, the club found a way to earn a point on the road.

SO KON PO, HONG KONG - JULY 29:  Danny Welbeck of Manchester United celebrates after scoring during the internationaly friendly match between Kitchee FC and Manchester United at Hong Kong Stadium on July 29, 2013 in So Kon Po, Hong Kong.  (Photo by Victor
Victor Fraile/Getty Images

With the win, United remains tied with the Ukrainian club on top of the Group A table. They have already beaten Bayer Leverkusen, and Real Sociedad has struggled to two losses in as many matches.

If Moyes' club can avoid a letdown, it will stay in great position to finish among the top two in the group and advance to the knockout stage. The squad would likely be able to win the group if it can get a win against Shakhtar when they come to Old Trafford on Dec. 10.

In reality, the draw was an important one and was not easy to earn. Danny Welbeck was among those who were proud of the effort:

While things have not gone according to plan in EPL play, United can be satisfied about how things are going in Champions League.

 

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