Cleverley: Man United can go all the way in Champions League this season
Tom Cleverley is backing Manchester United to find respite from a turbulent domestic campaign in Europe this season
Tom Cleverley is backing Manchester United to find respite from a turbulent domestic campaign by embarking on a successful Champions League run this season.
The Red Devils have made a poor start to their Premier League title defence under David Moyes and currently reside in ninth place in the table, 13 points behind leaders Arsenal.
However, United have been solid in Europe and have already booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League ahead of Shakhtar Donetsk’s visit to Old Trafford on Tuesday.
I think we can go as far as we want to in the Champions League
And 24-year-old midfielder Cleverley is hoping that Moyes’ men can continue their successful European run.
“It’s been a pleasing European campaign,” Cleverley told United Review.
“Our experience over the years has made us realise we must win our home games and pick up as many positive away results as we can. That’s what we’ve done, it’s gone to plan and we just need to finish off the job against Shakhtar.
“I think that [the 5-0 win last time out] was maybe a bit of an eye opener to say that we’re still about and we’re still one of the teams to beat. Leverkusen are second in the Bundesliga so to beat them away from home convincingly puts down a marker across Europe.
“I think we can go as far as we want to in the Champions League. We were written off in Europe last year but we deserved to go through against Real Madrid, even their manager [Jose Mourinho] said that.”
Man United v Shakhtar Donetsk: Pre-match facts
• Wayne Rooney is Britain’s all-time leading scorer in the Champions League, moving past Ryan Giggs to 29 on matchday one. Robin van Persie has now scored in ten consecutive Champions League seasons.
• Rooney has been credited with six assists this term, more than any other player in the competition. Four of them came in the 5-0 victory at Bayer Leverkusen.
• United have scored 547 goals in Uefa competition and conceded 297.
• United’s haul of seven points from the opening six Premier League games was their worst start to a season since 1989-90.