Judging United's Win vs. Olympiacos and How It Affects David Moyes' Job Security

Jake NisseFeatured ColumnistMarch 20, 2014

United's win against Olympiacos was a massive step forward for David Moyes.
United's win against Olympiacos was a massive step forward for David Moyes.Jon Super/Associated Press

After a lifeless performance in a 2-0 loss at Olympiacos, Manchester United made amends at Old Trafford in the second leg with a thumping 3-0 win.

Although many were startled by the inclusion of Ryan Giggs and Rio Ferdinand in the starting lineup, United played extremely well, and the former was instrumental in the team's success.

photo via WhoScored

Robin van Persie scored three goals, looking like a world-class striker once again while upping his season total to 17 goals in all competitions. 

GIF via The Big Lead

The Dutchman's striking partner, Wayne Rooney, also had an extremely strong game. In an absolutely vintage performance, Rooney set up van Persie on the second goal and completed six dribbles, looking very lively and fresh, as per WhoScored.com.

In addition, Antonio Valencia and Danny Welbeck had nice performances, drawing four and three fouls respectively, and Giggs excelled in a center midfield role where he completed two key passes and was generally all over the park.

While United's defense did manage to keep a clean sheet, much of that must be attributed to the stellar play of David De Gea.

The Spanish keeper was forced to cover for his defenders on many occasions, saving attempts from Hernan Perez and David Fuster after lackluster marking from Rafael and Ferdinand left them open in the first half.

United's performance was not flawless, but it was certainly an improvement from the first leg, and it proved to be enough to advance them into the quarterfinals of the Champions League.

While this performance was a massive step in the right direction, it does not completely take David Moyes off the hot seat. 

Two days ago, Miguel Delaney of ESPN FC reported that the Glazer family had become open to considering other managerial options. According to the piece, Moyes' future was to be largely contingent on his performance in the coming games vs. Olympiacos, West Ham and Manchester City.

If this is true, Moyes still has work left to do, and consecutive losses in the next two games could have the media calling for his head.

While Moyes and United have endured a very disappointing season by their standards, the club still has 14 wins to nine losses in EPL play.

No one would accuse Moyes of getting no results—doing so would surely leave them lower than seventh in the league table—but he could certainly be accused of being maddeningly inconsistent.

Just recently, an inspiring 3-0 win vs. West Brom was soon discarded by a deflating 3-0 loss to Liverpool at home.

This win against Olympiacos is a massive one for Moyes, but the games following this one are just as, if not more important.

If the Glazers can see that Moyes can cultivate quality performances from his side every night, they will be able to accept this season as a rebuilding campaign and enter the next season with optimism.

However, any small improvement from Moyes is needed for him to keep his job at the moment.

Right now, that means winning three consecutive games for the first time since December. 

Let's see what he's made of.


All stats and info via ESPN FC unless otherwise indicated.