David Moyes
Manchester United's clash with Bayern Munich could come at the perfect time for David Moyes

Soon after Manchester United drew Bayern Munich in the quarter finals of the Champions League came 'breaking news' on Twitter that David Moyes's men had been 'knocked out' of the tournament.

While that might be a little premature, even the staunchest of United fans will admit the Old Trafford side has been handed the toughest possible opposition in Pep Guardiola's Bayern.

The strength of the remaining eight clubs meant the path to Lisbon was always going to be a fraught one.

Of all the possible outcomes, a trip to Dortmund was probably the favourable tie. But it is their Bavarian rivals who United must conquer if they are to claim the famous trophy, a side considered by many to be the greatest on the planet.

A quick look at the numbers shows the size of the task facing United: Bayern are 23 points clear at the top of the Bundesliga, Saturday's victory over Bayer Leverkusen was a record 17th consecutive Bundesliga victory, they are undeafeated in 50 matches and have scored 74 league goals so far this season at a rate of 2.96 goals a game.

But while the odds are stacked against United from progressing to the semi-finals, the fixture could be a fillip for beleaguered manager Moyes and despite the opposition's ominous form, Bayern could be the perfect side for United to come up against.

Manchester United
Manchester United's Robin van Persie (L) celebrates with Wayne Rooney and Antonio Valencia (R) a second goal against Olympiakos. Reuters


If United are to stand any chance of squeezing past Bayern they must head to the second leg in Munich having established a lead at Old Trafford.

Moyes, whose attacking arsenal is strong, even without the cup-tied Juan Mata, would be wise to obey the Stretford End's instructions to "attack, attack, attack" - in fact, he will probably have little option.

Bayern's riches of talent, including reported United target Toni Kroos, also means Moyes will have to drill discipline into his defence. But there will be no shortage of motivation for the players to perform.

This is the perfect opportunity for Moyes to prove to United fans he has the technical nous to outwit lauded technocrat Guardiola.


While Chelsea vs PSG is the most intriguing of the quarter final ties pulled out of the pots today, none of the four games has the glamour of United vs Bayern.

The match is very much a "champions" affair, with both sides the reigining holders of their respective league titles and the atmosphere at Old Trafford will be fittingly rousing, with any cynicism towards the manager put to one side.

It will be Moyes's first proper "Champions League" night at Old Trafford and one he should relish.

Ghost of Ferguson

sir alex ferguson
Sir Alex Ferguson will watch Manchester United from his VIP seat Reuters

The last time United faced Bayern in the Champions League in 2010, Sir Alex Ferguson was at the helm and the Germans narrowly went through on away goals thanks to a spectacular Arjen Robben strike.

The Dutchman will return, as will Ferguson, who will no doubt occupy his VIP seat, but in the dugout this time will be Moyes.

And what better way for the former Everton manager to emerge from the shadow of his predecessor than by succeeding where Ferguson failed?


Moyes and United have endured a stuttering season this term with the side seemingly regressing soon after any hint of progression. And as Bayern go from strength to strength, Guardiola's men will rightly be installed by the bookies as favourites to not just win at Old Trafford, but to progress to the semi finals.

Expectation from the stands will be low, possibly the lowest it has been for decades. This can only be to Moyes' advantage as although defeat would mean exit from United's solitary chance of silverware, a strong showing will act as a boon to players, manager and fans. United can approach the tie like a lower-division team in the FA Cup; they have nothing to lose and everything to gain.