Posted September 16, 2013 on
AP on Fox
David Moyes' experience in the Champions League amounts to two qualifying matches back in 2005, when he was manager of Everton.
He lost both games.
Moyes' pedigree in Europe is therefore under scrutiny as he makes his return to the competition eight years later at the helm of Manchester United. And he is unlikely to be given an easy ride in the group stage after United was pitted with Bayer Leverkusen, Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Sociedad.
Moyes called predecessor Alex Ferguson after last month's draw and was handed a grim assessment by a man who won Europe's top prize twice - in 1999 and 2008 - in his near-27 years at Old Trafford.
''He said he thinks it's one of the hardest draws United have ever had in the Champions League,'' Moyes said. ''If that's coming from him, it must be tough.''
United opens its Group A campaign at home to in-form Leverkusen on Tuesday, when Shakhtar - eliminated in the last 16 last season - travels to Sociedad.
The English champions are favored to top the group, but their start to Moyes' first season in charge has been underwhelming.
After picking up four points from its opening three games for the team's worst start to a Premier League campaign in five years, United toiled on Saturday to a 2-0 win over promoted Crystal Palace, which played with more than half of the game with 10 men.
However, Moyes did see both Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney get on the scoresheet against Palace. And with Rooney back in action after a head injury and getting closer to full fitness, opponents should be fearful of United's front two.
''The hope is that we get a partnership where folk are saying, `My goodness, we are having to play against Robin van Persie and Wayne Rooney,''' Moyes said. ''Everybody is looking to see if those two form a partnership that can score lots of goals.''
Leverkusen has never won in England in eight attempts but has started the German league season with four wins from five matches, and has a coach in Sami Hyypia who knows United well.
Hyypia spent 10 years in the Premier League with Liverpool, winning the Champions League with the club in 2005.
''We shouldn't go out with too much respect,'' the former Finland defender said. ''I hope my players don't just look around at a stadium rich in history and get autographs from Rooney.
''They do have a new coach, but they play the same football. Man United are a great team. They won everything in the last 10 years. But to give up already before the game, I won't do that. Otherwise we could send out our second team.''
Leverkusen beat United in the Champions League semifinals in 2002 on the away-goals rule, then lost to Real Madrid in the final.
Socieded has had a mixed start to the season, with only one win in the Spanish league through four rounds. It did do well to dispatch French side Lyon in the Champions League playoffs, however, to earn the club only its second appearance in the competition's group stage.
Shakhtar has lost three of its best players from last season's run to the knockout stage, with Fernandinho (Manchester City), Willian (Chelsea, via Anzhi Makhachkala) and Henrikh Mkhitaryan (Borussia Dortmund) all moving on. The team is fourth after nine games in the defense of its Ukrainian title.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
With the transfer window closed and the international break over it’s finally time to see those big deal late deadline debutants in action.
So how did the multi million pound new boys do on their first appearances?
Mesut Ozil (Real Madrid to Arsenal. Fee: £42.4m)
Arsenal fans have been waiting for the debut of a big name signing like Mesut Ozil for years. Season after season the...
Man Utd v Bayer Leverkusen preview: Welbeck doubtful, Kagawa to return? - originally posted on Soccerlens.comManchester United manager David Moyes will get his first taste of Champions League on Tuesday, when the Red Devils will take on German giants Bayer Leverkusen at the Old Trafford.
Moyes’ previous involvement in Europe was in 2005-06, when led his former club Everton to...
Manchester United may have had unsuccessful summer in failing to sign some big names such as Fabregas and Thiago Alcantara but managed to prize away Marouane Fellaini from David Moyes’ former employers, Everton. The 25 year old Belguim international joins Manchester United on a £27.5 million transfer but has brought a lot of criticism upon David Moyes and the Manchester United...
Manchester United manager David Moyes got his first victory as a manager at Old Trafford today after his Red Devils cruised to a two-nil victory.
Although Crystal Palace’s chances were few and far between, except for a lovely attempt by Dwight Gayle, this wasn’t a classic Manchester United performance. The team is still trying to get into gear, but there were isolated flashes...
David Moyes refused to deny reports that Manchester United had made a sensational £125million bid for Gareth Bale before the ex-Tottenham ace completed his world record move to Real Madrid.
The Spanish giants completed the protracted £86.3million transfer the day before the transfer window closed but reports have surfaced that Manchester United made a late effort to sign the PFA...
Manchester United 2-0 Crystal Palace
Coach David Moyes reacts:
“I’m very happy. I thought there was a lot of good play, in the early part of the first half we were very good. We created a lot of crossing positions and goal-scoring opportunities which we didn’t take. We made it a little bit nervy, so I was delighted when we got the penalty kick before half time.
“I think he...
David Moyes says Wayne Rooney should be aiming to score 30 goals this season and also insists he should form a formidable partnership with Robin van Persie after a summer when the England striker agitated for a move away from Old Trafford.
Playing with a headband to protect the wound that had ruled Rooney out since last month the 27-year-old registered his opening strike of the...
The post-Sir Alex Ferguson era has been filled with twists and turns up until this point. The favoured one, David Moyesis about to embark on his first MAJOR EUROPEAN adventure tonight when Steffan KeiSling’s Leverkusen visit Old Trafford for the first time in 11 long years.
The draw has pitted a European powerhouse with three other ambitious clubs and the great SAF has warned his...
Now that Wayne Rooney reached the massive figure of 200 goals for Manchester United, manager David Moyes wants Rooney to rewrite club history by breaking through the record books and reaching 250 goals — which would put him down in the history books as the footballer who scored the most goals ever for United, breaking the previous record held by Bobby Charlton with 249 goals.
David Moyes has called on the powers that be, to harness “retrospective video” for referees to properly punish players who dive after Ashley Young, A Manchester United player, caused a booking from diving on the weekend. On the weekend Manchester United defeated Crystal Palace 2-0, the victory however, was marred by a diving booking by [...]
After impressing on his Premier League debut at Old Trafford at the weekend, Manchester United left winger Adnan Januzaj is in talks to sign a new contract with United. However, due to the back-and-forth negotiations dragging on for six months, Manchester City are reportedly trying to convince the Belgian player to sign for their club instead.
Januzaj’s contract expires at the...
The Premier League returns today after a two week absence due to international break. And kicking things off today is David Moyes’s first Premier League match in charge at Old Trafford against Crystal Palace. Everyone expects United to win comfortably today, so the pressure really is on Moyes more than it is on Ian Holloway.
When Holloway managed Blackpool, his side went for it...
After the draw for the group stage of the UEFA Champions League was made several weeks ago, many pundits were discussing Arsenal’s difficult task of being drawn in the same group as Napoli, Borussia Dortmund and Marseille, while Manchester United’s group, Group A, was dismissed as another easy opening group for the Red Devils. However, the deceptively benign Group A can be an...
What should soccer authorities do to combat the scourge of diving?
That age-old question has resurfaced, after Manchester United winger Ashley Young appeared to dive on two separate occasions during his team’s 2-0 win over Crystal Palace on Saturday.
Young was cautioned for simulation (cheating in layman’s terms) following the first instance. He won a penalty kick, which led...
Are City really better than United this season? - originally posted on Soccerlens.comMajority of the journalists and bloggers had tipped Manchester City as the firm favourites to win the title or at least finish above Manchester United this season. It was obvious though. For the first time in the history of Premier League, Manchester United will be without their legendary Sir Alex...