David Moyes reckons holders Bayern Munich beatable

‘I don’t think the holders have ever won it twice. Hopefully we can try and do something about that’

Sat, Mar 22, 2014, 14:06

David Moyes believes Bayern Munich have weaknesses that can be exploited when Manchester United play the Champions League holders in the quarter-final next month, while Jose Mourinho is set for a reunion with Zlatan Ibrahimovic after Chelsea were paired with Paris Saint-Germain.

The United manager feels the Germans are by no means invincible.

“I’ve got a few things that I’ve seen that I would try to work on and capitalise on,” he said. “They are the holders. But I don’t think the holders have ever won it twice. Hopefully we can try and do something about that.

“It’s a really big game but the big thing is being in the quarter-final draw because on Tuesday most people were thinking we wouldn’t be in the draw coming from 2-0 down.

“So yes, we have a tough draw but we are still in there and we are still fighting.”

Moyes accepts his opponents, whose victory in December’s World Club Cup gave them their fifth trophy of 2013, are currently the best team in the game.

“Yeah, did they prove that by winning the world championship? You would say that,” he said.“I’ve had a chance to see Munich a few times, I watched them at Arsenal and they are a good team. There have been a lot of memories over seasons between Munich and Manchester United.”

Chief among those previous encounters was the 1999 European Cup final when United beat Bayern 2-1 to claim a historic treble. “When the draw came out I would have said it’s the draw everybody wanted,” Moyes said.

‘Looking forward to it’
“Bayern maybe were the favourites, Real may be the favourites at this present time. Ideally you would try to avoid them if you can. I am looking forward to it because it’s two really great teams in a big game.

“There have been some epic games between the two clubs over the years and if I can get another epic game then that will mean we have come close. That has got to be the idea. The draw is what it is and we take it and the big thing was we were in that draw to play against whoever came in.”

United will be at home on Tuesday, April 1st 1 April, before the away game eight days later. Moyes said: “If you’re old-fashioned you’d say you always want to be at home second. I’ve got to say that would be the preference. But the way the games are going now, with counterattack football there’s a different approach from teams away from home.”

United reached this stage of the competition with Wednesday evening’s 3-0 win over Olympiakos, which overturned the Greek champions’ 2-0 advantage from the last-16 first leg. “When we were 2-0 down to Olympiakos I don’t think there were too many people putting us through into the quarter-final draw so in a lot of ways it didn’t matter who I drew,” Moyes said.

“I’ve had a chance to see Munich a few times, I watched them at Arsenal and they are a good team. There have been a lot of memories over seasons between Munich and Manchester United.”

Chief among those previous encounters was the 1999 European Cup final when United beat Bayern 2-1 to claim a historic treble. “When the draw came out I would have said it’s the draw everybody wanted,” Moyes said. “Bayern maybe were the favourites, Real may be the favourites at this present time. Ideally you would try to avoid them if you can. I am looking forward to it because it’s two really great teams in a big game.

“There have been some epic games between the two clubs over the years and if I can get another epic game then that will mean we have come close. That has got to be the idea. The draw is what it is and we take it and the big thing was we were in that draw to play against whoever came in.”

United will be at home on Tuesday, April 1st 1 April, before the away game eight days later. Moyes said: “If you’re old-fashioned you’d say you always want to be at home second. I’ve got to say that would be the preference. But the way the games are going now, with counterattack football there’s a different approach from teams away from home.”

Overturned
United reached this stage of the competition with Wednesday evening’s 3-0 win over Olympiakos, which overturned the Greek champions’ 2-0 advantage from the last-16 first leg. “When we were 2-0 down to Olympiakos I don’t think there were too many people putting us through into the quarter-final draw so in a lot of ways it didn’t matter who I drew,” Moyes said.

Before the draw in Nyon, Mourinho had suggested Chelsea and United would be considered outsiders by the other six clubs in the draw, with PSG, despite a lack of pedigree in this competition, distinctly awkward opponents.

The French club are unrecognisable these days from the side overcome by Chelsea a decade ago in Mourinho’s first Champions League game in charge, winning 3-0 at Parc des Princes in the group stage. John Terry, Petr Cech and Frank Lampard are the only players still at the 2012 winners from that occasion.

PSG, with their Qatari owners having bankrolled the addition of some mouth-watering talent to their ranks, thrashed Bayer Leverkusen in the last 16 and are comfortably clear at the top of the French league.

Ibrahimovic is their talisman, a goalscoring inspiration who worked with Mourinho at Internazionale and whose relationship with the Portuguese remains strong. Indeed, the Swede claimed he was “basically willing to die for” Mourinho in his autobiography.

There is more attacking threat provided by Edinson Cavani, Lucas Moura and Ezequiel Lavezzi, with Marco Verratti and Blaise Matuidi impressive in central midfield and Thiago Silva, paired with the former Chelsea player Alex, a defender of quality.

PSG, who tested Barcelona at this stage last season, will be seeking to nullify Eden Hazard, a player they have coveted since his days at Lille but who has effectively been priced out of the market by Chelsea after his recent impressive progress.

“They’re a big team, so we’ll see because we have the experience [AS A CLUB],” said the Belgium international, who has never progressed to this stage of the competition. “PSG beats every team in the Ligue 1, and have done this season so far in the Champions League, but the real tests will come now. We’ll see what they will do.”

‘A small advantage’
PSG’s coach, Laurent Blanc – who is assisted by the former Chelsea midfielder Claude Makelele – said: “ We knew the draw would pit us against a great team. The fact that they will be at home in the second leg offers them a small advantage, so we’ll have to make the difference at home: be steady defensively and score goals at Parc des Princes.”

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