A.J. Herrmann

Manchester United Advance and There Was Much Rejoicing!

Created on Mar. 20, 2014 5:57 PM EST

In arguably the very first ray of sunshine for the bedeviled Red Devils of Manchester, Robin Van Persie went on a goal scoring tear, and Man U advanced past Grecian club Olympiakos to the Champions League quarterfinals.

In their previous bout, Olympiakos defeated Man U 2-0, and headed into Old Trafford full of confidence entering yesterday's game.  But Van the Man, determined to deliver his team from a season of uninspiring play and a swelling loss column, found the net three times and carried United to a 3-2 aggregate victory.

When asked about his team's chances of pulling off a shock Champions League title victory, United manager David Moyes was optimistic.

"We will probably go into the quarterfinal tie as underdogs, but I don't see why not," Moyes said.  "This club has history in the competition.  It knows what to do at this stage.  We're not shocked to be in the quarterfinals, it's something we do regularly."

It seems as though Moyes, who's combated constant rumors over his job security, expected nothing less than a three-goal victory at home.  After a season of brutal disappointments, failed expectations and speculation over who might replace Moyes at year's end, the Scottish manager can finally take a deep breath.  For now.

The go-ahead goal was a crafty two-man effort between Wayne Rooney and Van Persie that completely froze the Olympiakos keeper, leaving him firmly planted on the end line as the ball sailed into the left corner.

The eight remaining teams left in the Champions League running are Manchester United, Barcelona, Paris Saint-Germain, Atletico Madrid, Bayern Munich, Chelsea and Real Madrid.  The field is packed with global superpowers and superstars, making the path ahead of United a difficult uphill road, but perhaps they've saved all of their usual magic for a stunning late-season run.  We'll just have to wait and see.

Relive the Flying Dutchman's trio of goals in the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lU-8xovOvwA 
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