Europa League

March 8, 2012


Man Utd

2 - 3


Europa League

20:05 +00:00, March 8, 2012

Old Trafford, England

Referee: Florian Meyer


    That's it for tonight. Remember you can follow me on Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN


    Athletic were awesome tonight, a real display of confident, attacking football. They'll do the same next Thursday.


    United will have to score twice without reply to go through - you feel they will have to score at least three though as they won't keep this Athletic team out.

  • 94'

    And that's it - a dramatic end if ever there was one, and it's Athletic who lead 3-2 after the first leg

  • 94'

    Carrick shot - deflected away from goal!

  • 94'

    And another corner!

  • 93'

    Goes through for a corner!

  • 93'

    Nani is pulled back. Chance to put it into the box for a leveller!

  • 92'

    GOAL Rooney sends Iraizoz the wrong way and gives United hope.

  • 92'


  • 91'

    Handball by De Marcos just inside the box. Definitely penalty.

  • 91'


  • 90'

    Three minutes to be added on.

  • 90'

    From the resulting odd free-kick, two defenders went for the same ball and fliched it on for De Marcos. His good shot was well saved by De Gea, Rafael was asleep and Muniain ghosted it and fired into the roof of the net.

  • 90'


  • 89'

    Evra didn't have his boot on properly and the ref has stopped the play as United went forward. And he's given a free-kick to Athletic for the boot being on the pitch.

  • 88'

    This United side just don't look at it in Europe this season, not just the Europa League.

  • 87'

    If anything, Athletic look like scoring again.

  • 86'

    Four minutes for United to do something to salvage their European season.

  • 85'

    Herrera is off, and on comes Inigo Perez.

  • 84'

    Toquero tries a shot from just inside the box, De Gea fists it over.

  • 84'

    Young breaks but by the time he opts to shoot he's been closed down.

  • 83'

    Nani feeds in Hernandez but again the Mexican is hestitant and loses the ball. He's not been on his game tonight either.

  • 82'

    Llorente is replaced by Toquero. A defensive move.

  • 81'

    Long shot from Rooney on target but straight at Iraizoz.

  • 80'

    Anderson. Runs. Into. Nowhere.

  • 79'

    Nani drives a ball in from the right, but it only finds Martinez at the near post who neatly controls and takes it clear.

  • 78'

    As it stands, United HAVE to score at least twice in Bilbao.

  • 77'

    Awful pass from Rooney again - it was a simply five yard pass. The loose ball runs for Rooney, and he fires well over from 22 yards.

  • 76'

    United simply have to attack now. This is a disaster. All-Manchester final? Neither might make the quarters.

  • 75'

    The ineffectual Giggs is replaced by Nani.

  • 74'

    United may feel the flag should have gone up against De Marcos for offside - but the truth is Athletic deserve this.

  • 73'

    Wonderful, wonderful chip through by Herrera, and De Marcos hit it first time with his left into the opposite corner.

  • 72'


  • 72'

    De Gea is wise to a chipped ball through to De Marcos.

  • 71'

    Wayne Rooney's just appealed for a free-kick. Yes, he's still on the pitch.

  • 70'

    Still no real sign of composure or indeed urgency from United in the Athletic half. They have to win this match surely, don't they?

  • 69'

    Young plays a long, long ball over the top to find Hernandez on the run on the edge of the box. The touch is just too heavy and Iraizoz is there.

  • 68'

    Oooooooo! Superb run from Muniain, taking a one-two and forcing another top stop out of De Gea.

  • 67'

    Remember you can follow me on Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN

  • 66'

    De Marcos doesn't like the tackle from Evans and is down in pain. It wasn't a great challenge but the Athletic man will be fine.

  • 65'

    United looking far more composed.

  • 64'

    San Jose with a pull on Hernandez.

  • 63'

    Rafael breaks and plays a terrible ball through the middle for Hernandez, good only for Iraizoz.

  • 62'

    Anderson comes on for Park.

  • 62'

    Rooney plays in Hernandez, he wants six hours to control it and make the space and is crowded out. He should have hit it early.

  • 61'

    It's floated in and falls to San Jose, who also volleys into Warrington.

  • 60'

    Handball against Carrick, free-kick to Athletic 30 yards out.

  • 59'

    United have improved in the last five minutes after that onslaught from Athletic.

  • 58'

    Young is tugged back off the ball by a defender, somonehow that is not a yellow.

  • 57'

    Park is tripped five yards outside the box, free-kick. Rooney takes but it's always curling wide and Iraizoz guides it out.

  • 56'

    Carrick comes on for Smalling, Jones drops into defence.

  • 55'

    It's the end of the night for Smalling. The cut on his head from England duty which was protected by a bandage has opened and blood was pouring down his face.

  • 54'

    Herrera volleys into Warrington from the edge of the box.

  • 53'

    Great save from De Gea! Shot from the edge of the box by Llorente and the keeper stretches to palm over.

  • 53'

    United simply sliced apart again, Llorete fed in on the left and he fired into the sidenetting.

  • 52'

    Bad miss from Llorente!

  • 51'

    Athletic still swamping United. United unable to break as they keep giving the ball away.

  • 50'

    Great save from De Gea! Muniain with the shot from outside the box and De Gea gets fingertips to it.

  • 49'

    Rooney and Park link up, but there's too much on the pass to Hernandez from the South Korean and Iraizoz collects.

  • 48'

    That was no different to the first half. United simply have to improve.

  • 47'

    Athletic start really well, there's panic in the United box and De Marcos fires over.

  • 46'

    United kick-off in the second half.


    I'll be back for the second half, and during half-time you can follow me on Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN


    United are going to have to come out far more attacking in the second period otherwise they may well lose this game and have a mountain to climb next week.


    United have work to do at half-time. They have given away the away goal, almost handed it to Athletic by playing so deep and inviting on the pressure.

  • 45'

    And that's half-time.

  • 45'

    One minute to be added on.

  • 45'

    No less than Athletic deserve. A superb ball in from the left by Susaeta, Llorente had been left and headed home - though De Gea was given the chance to save.

  • 44'


  • 44'

    Fine break down the right by Rooney, he plays the early ball to Hernandez who has to stretch for it and commits a foul.

  • 43'

    Wayne Rooney celebrates.

  • 42'

    Hernandez very, very nearly gets on the end of a deep ball, Iraizoz plucking it from the air.

  • 41'

    Athletic always seem to make sure they have five bodies in attack, great to watch.

  • 40'

    Awful cleared pass from De Gea - floated into touch.

  • 39'

    United tie themselves in knots with a throw deep in the Athletic half on the right - and then Jones gives away a free-kick.

  • 38'

    All (!) Rooney seems to have done so far is get that vital goal. His passing has been poor a lot of the time.

  • 37'

    Iraolo was in acres of space on the right and screaming for the ball to be fed into the gap in the box. United need to get wise down that side.

  • 36'

    Another corner on the right for Athletic, again United deal with it without much bother.

  • 35'

    Great ball puts the skipper Iraolo in a good position, he checks back inside onto his left and forces De Gea to put it behind at his near post.

  • 34'

    Giggs is full of tricks, flicks and backheels tonight.

  • 33'

    Oooooooooh! Susaeta gets through on goal, outpacing Evans. Again it's the chip which the Athletic player goes for but it's way off target. A waste.

  • 32'

    Athletic try to find the run of De Marcos in the box with a throughball - just too much weight on it, goal-kick.

  • 31'

    De Marcos whips in a cross from the right, Llorente gets there but can only head over the bar.

  • 30'

    United a playing a unbelievably deep line, no interest in taking the initiative.

  • 29'

    Remember you can follow me on Twitter: @dalejohnsonESPN

  • 28'

    The corner comes in from the right but there's too much flight on it. Wasted.

  • 27'

    Llorente plays a neat ball back for Iraolo, who sees his shot deflected behind for a corner.

  • 26'

    United have 3v3, but a terrible ball from Young as it hits a defender. He wants a handball but it deserves nothing.

  • 25'

    It seems clear United are going to play on the break. Happy for Athetlic to have the ball.

  • 24'

    So, the sucker punch for Athletic as United soak up a bit of pressure and within seconds take the lead.

  • 23'

    Giggs plays in Hernandez who does brilliantly to cut inside and get off the shot. Iraizoz gets down to make the save but the loose ball falls to the onrushing Rooney who plants it in the roof of the net.

  • 22'

    GOAL Wayne Rooney

  • 22'

    United coming under real pressure now. It pings around in the box and Herrera can only shoot tamely into the gloves of De Gea.

  • 21'

    De Marcos crosses for Llorente, it's just behind him and he cannot get purchase on the header. Good play by Smalling again too.

  • 20'

    Valencia are already 2-0 up at home to PSV.

  • 19'

    Llorente goes down in the box, claiming he had been tugged back by Smalling - but the ref penalises Llorente for the push first.

  • 18'

    Llorente, showing strength again, has another shot blocked. Passing is not in his remit.

  • 17'

    Hernandez has a shot from the edge of the box but a deflection took the pace off it and Iraizoz collects.

  • 16'

    It's a bit flat at the moment, Athletic fans in fine voice.

  • 15'

    Plenty of empty seats up in the Gods at Old Trafford.

  • 14'

    Rooney has been awful in this opening quarter of an hour.

  • 13'

    Muniain almost controls a fine ball over the top which would have put him in on goal, but he could only get a toe to it and De Gea collects.

  • 12'

    Athletic enjoying a period of possession but not in a dangerous area.

  • 11'

    Rooney produces a Charlie Adam shot, firing 30 yards over the bar from the edge of the box.

  • 10'

    Awful ball across the edge of the box by Young just when United pressure was building.

  • 9'

    Giggs takes over on the right - it's almost a corner - and Iraizoz is there to punch to safety.

  • 8'

    Young is tugged back by Aurtenetxe by the corner flag. Free-kick - chance to deliver.

  • 8'

    Young crosses in from the right, dealt with easily.

  • 7'

    Muniain sees De Gea off his line and goes for the chip, way over the bar.

  • 6'

    We've received an email remarking on how many Spaniards (*Basque) there are in the Athletic team compared to Englishmen in the Man United team. We don't have the heart to tell them.

  • 5'

    Oooooooh! Llorente shows great strength and control on the egde of the box, working a tight corridor for the shot and it goes inches wide.

  • 4'

    Good start to the game.

  • 3'

    Man United enjoy some good possession. Hernandez feeds in Giggs through the centre who tries to get his shot off but former Liverpool man San Jose blocks.

  • 2'

    Athletic start the game well. Young heads the ball behind for a corner but the whistle had gone for a push.

  • 1'

    And it's Athletic to kick off.


    Out come the teams at Old Trafford.


    Sir Alex Ferguson is speaking on TV, hoping the experience of United will win the day over their rivals.


    So Manchester United will be eager to avoid the defeat City suffered in Lisbon.


    Wayne Rooney starts for Manchester United in this Europa League last-16 first leg tie. Rio Ferdinand, Paul Scholes and Michael Carrick are amongst the big names missing from the starting XI though as Sir Alex Ferguson keeps half an eye on Sunday's Premier League encounter with West Brom.


    ESPNsoccernet's Dale Johnson will bring you live commentary of this match, which kicks off at 20.05 GMT.