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Feb 25, 2014

Van Persie frustrated by United tactics

FC's Craig Burley and Tommy Smyth break down Manchester United's poor performance against Olympiakos in Greece.

Robin van Persie said some of his teammates clog the spaces he likes to operate in following Manchester United's poor display against Olympiakos in the Champions League last-16 opening leg on Tuesday.

• Brewin: Three things
• Okwonga: United outpunched
Press savages 'pitta-ful' United

The Dutchman was left frustrated after a mixture of skill and composure from the Greek side and a below-par effort from United attackers earned Olympiakos a shock 2-0 win.

Speaking to Dutch broadcaster NOS after the match, Van Persie appeared to question the tactics being employed by United manager David Moyes.

"My teammates are sometimes occupying the spaces I want to play in," he said. "And when I see that it makes it difficult for me to come to those spaces as well. So that forces me to adjust my runs, based on the position of my fellow players. And unfortunately, they're often playing in my zones. I think that's a shame."

Van Persie spurned a late chance to grab an away goal and United struggled to create any other chances, leaving the odds stacked against the reigning Premier League champions making the quarterfinals.

"I rushed that shot," he said. "That's a shame because I don't get a lot of chances so when you get one, you have to score."

Van Persie's words did little to ease the pressure mounting on Moyes, on a night when nothing went right for the beleaguered boss or his United team. However, the striker said United's poor start to the year, in which they have lost six of their 12 fixtures so far, is as much down to misfortune as the players and staff.

"[Moyes] is working hard at it, and so are we," he said. "Sometimes we play well, but not all the time. We don't have luck on our side. It's easy to point the finger at someone, but I'm not like that. We have to do better ourselves."

Information from Press Association was used in this report.

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