David Moyes lauded Manchester United’s 5-0 rout of Bayer Leverkusen – the club’s best away result in Europe since 1964 – as their best performance under him after cruising into the Champions League last 16.
United went into the match at the BayArena against a Leverkusen side that had not lost in its previous 13 home games and many predicted a tough encounter despite the 4-2 home win played out in the Old Trafford leg.
Shameful defending by the home side however and efficient attacking from the visitors helped United inflict the five-goal hiding, their best result on the continent since the 6-1 defeat of Germans Borussia Dortmund in 1964, leaving Moyes ecstatic.
“It’s the best we’ve played in my time here and there’s more to come,” said United’s manager.
“To score five goals, we haven’t done that, and to do it away is special.
“There were so many good performances. To come to Germany and get such a good result gives an idea of where our performance and result was.”
Leverkusen manager Sami Hyypia was in a wholly different mood.
“Tonight we were taught a lesson,” said the former Liverpool player, before acknowledging that his team may have suffered from a psychological block when facing the Premier League champions.
Goals from Antonio Valencia, Jonny Evans, Chris Smalling, Nani and the unlikely source of Emir Spahic capped a vivacious display in which Wayne Rooney was central throughout.
United have endured fluctuating form under Moyes, but the victory increases their unbeaten streak to 11 games in all competitions and gives the manager something to savour.
“It [the performance] was what I was hoping to get more often. There have been signs that we are getting better but also signs that we have been a bit wasteful at times as well,” said the Scot.
Ryan Giggs defied his years yet again, serving as an assured presence in midfield and showcasing outstanding distribution during his side’s swift counter-attacks, leaving his manager to gush about the qualities which former manager Sir Alex Ferguson once described as ‘Peter Pan-like’.
“People are going to question Ryan’s age but you can’t question him as a footballer,” said Moyes of the Welsh midfielder, who turns 40 tomorrow.
“He is a wonderful player and I am really fortunate to be working with him.
“He will tell us when he has had enough, or when he thinks his time is up. But his performances since I came have been excellent.”
The result means that the Old Trafford outfit only need to collect a point from Shakhtar Donetsk’s visit in two weeks to finish top in their group.
United will hope to take their strong run of form into Sunday’s clash with Tottenham Hotspur, knowing that defeat could leave them 10 points adrift of front-runners Arsenal and four points off the top four.
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