Football: Both Manchester teams out of Europe as Bilbao and Sporting profit
Sunday, March 18, 2012
|March 15, 2012|
|2 – 1||Manchester United||, |
|(agg 5 - 3)||80'|
Manchester United went into their game againstseeking to overcome a 3–2 deficit dealt in the first leg; they were soundly defeated.
Bilbao began the game strongly, immediately pressing United and looking to attack whenever possible. The English side were the first to strike, with left midfielder's early shot needing a block to stay out. saw his 14th minute shot strike a post, and miss the rebound, as Bilbao worked to break United's defence down.
The opener came on 23 minutes, with young Spaniardconverting from 's lobbed through ball after completely fooling the United back four. The game ended early for Llorente, as he was forced off the pitch after an injury.
The Manchester side picked up their game in the second half; they were continually thwarted by the host's defences. Bilbao remained at their high tempo to prevent any sort of response, and soon full backknocked wide after an impressive run.
Bilbao's lead was doubled on 65 minutes as de Marcos converted from a floated cross by Iraola from the right, and the club never looked like slipping up throughout the rest of the game., playing as a lone striker for United, finally gave his club's fans their money's worth with ten minutes left to play as he hit home from long range.
It was surely a humbling defeat for a team pushing to beat their city rivals to their domestic title, inflicted by seventh-placed Bilbao of. It means that for only the first time in ten years, Manchester United have failed to reach a cup final.
|March 15, 2012|
|3 – 2||Manchester, |
| 60', 82'
|(agg 3 - 3)
Sporting win on
| 33' |
's had beaten Manchester City 1–0 at home, and only needed to consolidate that result in Manchester. The hosts put up a spirited fightback in the closing minutes; it was not enough to avoid elimination.
A slow first half from a full-strength City side meant they were easily contained by the visitors, and indeed Sporting were first to test the goalkeeper.'s header early on was a sign of things to come for City, and they opening the scoring on 33 minutes with a free kick taken directly by .
Just seven minutes later the Manchester team were beaten again, asset up a pinpoint cross allowing Dutchman to tap in a close-range finish and make it 3–0 on aggregate.
Despite trailing by three, City looked far more determined in the first half. Their first goal of the two legs came after an hour, as Argentinian international finished off 's good pass from just inside the penalty box.
Agüero assisted in the second goal, in a way; after falling from a poor tackle by Sporting defender, the hosts were awarded a penalty kick. duly took the ball past to level the scores on the night.
Late substitutenodded a good corner from towards Agüero, who was left completely open at the far post, who made no mistake with his finish to put Manchester City ahead with eight minutes left to play.
An action-packed eight minutes was topped off by City goalkeeper, who got his head onto a ball drifted from the host's corner but was denied by a good save from Patricio. Sporting struggled to withstand intense pressure, but held out to win the tie on the .
- Alistair Magowan. "Athletic Bilbao 2-1 Man Utd (agg 5-3)" — , March 15, 2012
- Neil Johnston. "Man City 3-2 Sporting (agg 3-3)" — , March 15, 2012
- Paul Bryan. "Athletic see off United with room to spare" — , March 15, 2012
- Simon Hart. "City comeback in vain as Sporting progress" — , March 15, 2012