It’s the third night of European football this week and we’re in the Basque region. As always, we’d love to hear your thoughts on this evening’s action. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, tweet @thescore_ie, post a message to our Facebook wall, or leave a comment below.
Full-time: Athletic Bilbao (5) 2-1 (3) Manchester United
17.03 – Good evening and thanks for dropping by for the early shift of tonight’s Europa League football. Both Manchester clubs are trailing from their first leg and we’re at the San Mames Stadium where an exciting Athletic Bilbao side, who lead 3-2 on aggregate, welcome United. The starting teams will be along in a minute…
17.08 – And here they are:
Atheltic Bilbao: G Iraizoz, A Iraola, F Amorebieta, J Martinez, J Aurtenetxe, A Iturraspe, O de Marcos, A Herrera, M Susaeta, I Muniain, F Llorente. Subs: Raul, G Toquero, M San Jose, D Lopez, I Perez, B Ekiza, I Gomez.
Manchester United: D de Gea, P Evra, R Ferdinand, J Evans, Rafael, P Ji-Sung, R Giggs, M Carrick, T Cleverley, A Young, W Rooney. Subs: B Amos, C Smalling, J Hernandez, D Welbeck, Fabio, P Scholes, P Pogba.
17.17 – So, Ferguson has decided to go with Wayne Rooney up top and left Javier Hernandez, who scored in the first leg, and Danny Welbeck on the bench. There is no place in the match-day squad for Dimitar Berbatov, however. The former Bulgarian international is set to leave Old Trafford in the summer according to reports yesterday.
Bilbao’s top marksman Fernando Llorente caused the United backline plenty of problems last week and he starts here despite being a doubt in the lead-up.
17.25 – Last week, the Red Devils boss watched his side being overrun by Bilbao, who maintained a high tempo and pressed the home team at every opportunity, and looks likely to crowd the midfield tonight. A 3-2 defeat slightly flattered the Premier League club and they face a mammoth challenge to turn around the scoreline.
We’ve seen our fair share of comebacks already this season though, so it would be foolish to rule them out. For an excellent analysis of the tactical battle at Old Trafford, check out ZonalMarking.net.
17.43 – These team last met in the European Cup 55 years ago when a Busby Babes team not yet stripped of the Munich disaster victims went down 5-3 to Bilbao in an incredible game. The return leg was played at Maine Road as floodlights hadn’t yet been installed at Old Trafford and United managed to win 3-0 at the home of their city rivals to progress to the semi-finals – where they lost out to Real Madrid.
Check out these rare highlights of the second leg:
YouTube credit: unitedfcvn
18.11 – End-to-end stuff in the opening ten minutes. Super run by Tom Cleverley and he slides Ashley Young through. The English international looks to pull the trigger but is snuffed out by a terrific challenge.
Iker Muniain sets off on a run and wins his team a corner when Rafael gets a toe in.
18.38 – United continue to probe and have earned a couple of corners but haven’t really carved out a clear opening.
Here’s that Llorente goal for anyone who hasn’t yet seen it. Well worth a watch:
YouTube credit: GORANMKable
18.42 – Big blow for Bilbao, who are forced to withdraw the goalscorer Llorente, who is struggling with injury. He’s left his mark on the game, however.
The hardworking Gaizka Toquero takes his place in attack.
18.52 – Scores in the other Europa League 6pm kick-offs are as follows:
Hannover (4) 2-0 (2) Standard Liege
PSV Eindhoven (2) 0-0 (4) Valencia
Udinese (2) 2-1 (3) AZ Alkmaar
19.33 – More spurned chances in front of goal for Athletic as Susaeta skews wide. Toquero then heads over before shooting off target from a fair distance. 15 minutes to go.
19.38 – GOAL! Athletic Bilbao (5) 2-1 (3) Manchester United (Wayne Rooney)
Take a bow, Wayne Rooney. The striker picks the ball up in a central position and steps onto his right foot before curling the ball into the top corner for his 27 goal in all competitions this season.
19.48 – Welbeck forces Gorka Iraizoz into a decent save form 20 yards out. A United free-kick minutes later doesn’t amount to anything… the 90 minutes are up and we’re into added time.
19.58 – United are outclassed by their Spanish opponents for a second time in a week. They can have no complaints on the night and Bilbao progress to the quarter-finals knowing they will take some stopping. The other early full-times are:
Hannover (6) 4-0 (2) Standard Liege
PSV Eindhoven (3) 1-1 (5) Valencia
Udinese (2) 2-1 (3) AZ Alkmaar
20.06 – That’s my lot then. The other Manchester club are seconds away from kicking off at the Etihad Stadium as they look to turn around a 1-0 first leg defeat to Sporting Lisbon. Our man Fenno is on the case and you can read his liveblog here. I’ll leave you with Rooney’s consolation…
YouTube credit: terradeportesusa