Manchester United‘s 5-0 win against Bayer Leverkusen sends out an important message to rest of Europe: despite their domestic struggles, they still are a threat in the Champions League this season.
The German side were poor, but United fans should certainly be encouraged by the performance from David Moyes‘ side on Wednesday night. Leverkusen are second in Bundesliga for a reason — it’s because they are a quality team. But, United made them look average. It was the best performance from United since Moyes became manager.
The control of the game was something that has been missing in recent months. For over a decade now, United have commonly almost always been the side who control the tempo of the game and the share of possession. It was important for United that the dominance and confidence returned. Players like Wayne Rooney and Shinji Kagawa were at their best, stretching and creating chances throughout.
The inconsistency from United in the Premier League has clearly meant that the name ‘Manchester United’ does not have the same fear factor as before. But, Moyes’ team proved to the rest of Europe that the class is still there. A big win is important, but to do it away from home with a clean sheet will let all know that United still mean business. A clean sheet itself is a big bonus for United, who have leaked goals lately.
It shows that although they are in a transitional period with a relativity weak squad, even a 40-year-old Ryan Giggs is at a standard that is capable of turning high-level oppositions over. This will certainly be one of the moments that will help Moyes develop momentum and attitude with his club.