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Wayne Rooney claims United owed David Moyes a strong performance

Mar 20, 2014, 11:55 AM EDT

Britain Soccer Champions League AP

Wayne Rooney paid tribute to Manchester United manager David Moyes following the club’s 3-0 Champions League triumph over Olympiacos on Wednesday.

When asked if United owed Moyes a strong performance, Rooney told Sky Sports via Soccerly.com: “Of course we do. And we owed ourselves a good result. These fans, the manager, everyone.

“This is a great result and hopefully it can kick-start our season and the start of something really special.”

Moyes entered last night’s contest on the hot seat after a disappointing domestic season left the club 7th in the Premier League table, 12 points adrift of 4th placed Liverpool and a spot in next year’s Champions League.

Moyes’ European season, by contrast, had gone decently well until a drab 0-2 loss to Olympiacos in the first leg of their Round of 16 matchup on February 28th. To overturn that result and advance to the Champions League quarter-finals, United needed to win by three goals.

And with their backs against the wall the Red Devils delivered one of their most inspired performances of the season. A Robin van Persie hat-trick combined with fantastic goalkeeping by David de Gea, a vintage midfield outing by Ryan Giggs, hardened efforts by Danny Welbeck and Antonio Valencia, and a do-it-all display by Wayne Rooney ensured United the 3-0 victory.

For Rooney, it came down to hunger. “It was just the desire to win,” he said. “As you can hear, the fans in particular, the support has been fantastic. Against Liverpool they were fantastic. They were fantastic again tonight and we’re delighted for them.”

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