Speaking after the match, Moyes was left shocked by how poorly his team played across the board, but he didn't wish for them to take the brunt of the disapproval, as reported by Ian Ladyman of the Daily Mail:
That’s the worst we've played in Europe. We didn't deserve to get anything. I’m surprised; I didn't see that level of performance coming. I take responsibility, we have to play better. The players are hurting.
We didn't offer enough on the night to create a goal. There is undoubtedly talent at Manchester United but we didn't show it tonight. We are determined to put it right. The players are hurt. Old Trafford’s seen some great nights and we hope to see another one.
United appeared lethargic from the off and immediately struggled to settle with the home team's energy. Michel's men played with the confidence of a side that remain unbeaten in the Greek Super League and showed real belief to hound the Premier League's fallen champions.
It was yet another example of the Red Devils losing their fear factor. Despite the best efforts of Michael Carrick, who struggled to break up play alongside the ineffectual Tom Cleverley, United's midfield creaked with legginess.
Experienced players such as Rio Ferdinand and Wayne Rooney also appeared off the boil. The former failed to win a header all night, misplaced a handful of passes in key areas and provided just one tackle across the entire match, per WhoScored. Rooney was swarmed as he continued to drop deep and quickly became frustrated by his inability to maintain possession.
Robin van Persie managed a game-low of 24 touches from those who started. He suggested Moyes' lack of craft left him unable to influence the game, as told to Dutch television station NOS and reported via Craig Hope of the Daily Mail:
Our fellow players are sometimes occupying the spaces I want to play in.
And when I see that, it makes it difficult for me to come to those spaces as well. So that forces me to adjust my runs, based on the position of my fellow players. And, unfortunately, they are often playing in my zones. I think that's a shame.
Moyes' decision to blame himself doesn't come as a surprise, especially as vocal United fans continue to display outrage at the manager's tactical style across the social media spectrum.
The Scottish boss showed no signs of mixing things up when United needed a goal. He didn't drastically alter the team's game plan and failed to rally his troops for that all-important away strike. Instead, United once again let a huge match pass them by as the manager failed to conjure up any inspiration from the sidelines.
Things will need to change quickly if United are to remain in the Champions League. Considering the squad are extremely unlikely to qualify for next season's tournament, March 19's second leg could be the team's last jaunt into Europe's elite competition until September 2015 at the earliest.
Moyes and his struggling band of players must dust themselves off quickly if United are to provide a glimmer of hope for the rest of the season.
Anything less than three wins in their upcoming fixtures against West Brom, Liverpool and Olympiakos will heap further pressure on a manager that couldn't have envisaged a worse start to life at Old Trafford.
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