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Bayern Munich

David Moyes’ 30 seconds of salvation before “crime” led to brutal Man Utd photo

His efforts with West Ham this season have thankfully ensured that the merciless mocking of David Moyes has stopped, but it was relentless for a while there.

When you think of the end of the Scot’s Manchester United reign back in 2014 you can’t help but think of that Grim Reaper stood behind him on the touchline at Goodison Park, a venue he had once bestrode with confidence, as United lost 2-0 on April 20. He was sacked two days later.

Eleven days before though, on April 9, 2014 , he had a route to salvation.

United had drawn the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie with Bayern Munich 1-1 at Old Trafford, where and then just before the hour mark at the Allianz Arena it happened.

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Antonio Valencia’s cross drifted towards the edge of the box and there was Patrice Evra rushing in like a train, blasting an unstoppable shot into Manuel Neuer’s top corner. There was absolutely nothing the goalkeeper could have done.

Moyes' side just fell short at the Allianz Arena
Moyes’ side just fell short at the Allianz Arena

And that was it then. Ecstasy.

Surely there would be no way that United would sack Moyes if he led them to the Champions League semi-finals, which took place across the final week of April? And if he made it that far then he’d definitely get to the end of the season, you’d think?

But half a minute later, disaster.

Franck Ribery was in space on the left, and his drifted cross invited Mario Mandzukic into the type of movement he has made a career out of.

The Croatian nipped in front of a perhaps still dizzied Evra and scored. 1-1.

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The tide had turned now and Bayern sensed blood.

Soon Arjen Robben’s low cross was turned in by Thomas Muller for two, and then a typical Robben goal made it three.

The Grim Reaper was waiting for Moyes at Goodison
The Grim Reaper was waiting for Moyes at Goodison

Moyes was crestfallen, and perhaps he knew what was coming.

“The only crime was conceding a goal after we had scored within 30 seconds,” he said after the match.

“That was the biggest crime. We had to play against the holders of the competition and for long periods we made it difficult for them. In the end we just couldn’t quite keep it going.

“Possibly [the joy of the goal caught them out] but I do also think that I have a team full of experienced players.

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“We had concentrated so fabulously well throughout the game. The players had done tactically well. The positioning and their jobs but for us to give it up, or rather the goal, at that moment was really disappointing.”

As they were out of the FA Cup United didn’t have a game that weekend, and the next midweek was blank too.

So by the time Moyes was back in a dugout again it was that game at Everton, where he stood stoic on the touchline as the Grim Reaper watched on.

If the crime had been in Munich the punishment was here, with the verdict delivered soon afterwards.

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