Athletic Bilbao have disgraced Manchester United in the 1st leg of their encounter for the Europa League, showing that may be this competition as well is too good for the Red Devils. Bilbao in the end took home a 3-2 lead, but it could have been more for the Spanish side had De Gea not produced a string of fine saves to keep them at bay for a long time before eventually conceding the fatal blows.But United were dominated throughout the game, and did not deserve better.
Bilbao took the game completely to United, and in Evra’s own words which he used once to describe Arsenal, it was like looking at kids of Man Utd playing against the men of Bilbao. United did score first through Rooney on the 22nd minute, but Bilbao were still in control of the game, and responded through Llorente on the 44th minute. The pressure kept mounting on United, and Bilbao eventually scored again on the 72nd minute, with a hint of offside, but Oscar slotted home. And Bilbao claimed a third after an initial attempt saved by De Gea, but Rafael went to sleep, leaving Muniain racing in the box to slot home past the desperate dive of De Gea. United however were awarded a rather generous penalty (handball seemed outside the box) 2 minutes in added time, and Rooney scored his second more as a consolation than a lifeline. The return leg almost eliminates United in this competition as well if the Spanish side turns up yet another display as this one. One player who completely fluffed his lines in this game was Chicharito, unimpressive throughout the game. I believe most United fans must have already said goodbye to this competition, unless a real miracle happens for the Red Devils in the return leg.