Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Football European

Moyes debate will go on at Old Trafford but no doubt about Bayern class

Bayern Munich 3 Manchester United 1 (4-2 agg):

By Steven Beacom

That's that then. Manchester United's season is over. Before Easter. They are out of everything; the lot; there is nothing left.

Their Premier League title hopes went first, then the FA Cup and next came a knockout blow in the League Cup.

Last night they kissed goodbye to the Champions League, as Bayern Munich proved far too good, and unless things change dramatically at Old Trafford, United won't be saying hello to the premier competition in club football any time soon.

How ironic that the next fixture for Red Devils boss David Moyes is back at Goodison Park against an Everton side who could be playing in the European Cup next season.

The Toffees, that Moyes left behind, are fighting for fourth under the astute Roberto Martinez.

United, champions last season in Sir Alex Ferguson's last stand, with Moyes at the helm will do well to finish sixth.

And so the questions will begin once again.

Moyes has had a few weeks away from the pressure cooker having secured a few decent results, including a 1-1 draw at home to Bayern, but following the 3-1 defeat in the Allianz Arena, the heat is back on.

Is he really the man to manage United?

Has he got what it takes to make the club a force again?

And should he be allowed to spend the supposed £150 million being made available by the owners in the summer?

Right now, many United supporters would say no to all three.

Ultimately only the Glazers will provide the answers that matter, unless they ask for Fergie's opinion again, but isn't that what put them in this predicament in the first place?

Moyes has bemoaned his fortune all season. Far too much in my view but he certainly didn't get the luck of the draw when United ended up with Bayern in the Champions League quarter-finals.

While I'm not convinced they would have beaten any of the other six teams either, at least they would have stood a better chance.

Bayern were not at their breathtaking best throughout the two-legged tie, but when they needed to, the holders displayed their undoubted class.

In the first leg after going behind, it didn't take them long to even things up and that was the case on home turf, too.

The difference was that after drawing level last night they switched on the turbo to speed out in front, knowing United did not have what was required to catch them.

At the break it was 0-0 and Munich, predictable and laboured in their passing, had failed to hurt the visitors, with the much maligned Chris Smalling and Phil Jones impressing at the back. Moyes would have been content at the interval.

He was in dreamland on 57 minutes when Patrice Evra produced a spectacular strike which rocketed into the net.

The nightmare season came back to haunt him straight from kick-off though when Evra, still thinking about his glorious goal, did not get close enough to Mario Mandzukic, who stooped to head home a left wing cross.

United could have replied in kind moments later only for Wayne Rooney to fluff his shot. Rooney blamed Danny Welbeck for the weight of pass instead of taking responsibility. Not for the first time, Rooney had failed to deliver on the big stage.

His miss was effectively United's last chance to save their campaign as Bayern upped the pace and tempo. The switch had been flicked.

On 68 minutes, Arjen Robben delivered for Thomas Muller to nip ahead of the United defence and convert and eight minutes later, the Dutchman netted himself after the sort of dangerous run and left foot shot that has become his trademark. 3-1 on the night, 4-2 on aggregate.

Game over for United. Season over for United. Old Trafford reign over for Moyes? Time will tell.

Belfast Telegraph


From Belfast Telegraph