Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson has insisted the quarter-finals of the Europa League are still a possibility for the club, despite a 3-2 home loss to Athletic Bilbao, The
The Premier League champions were knocked out of the Champions League by Basel in the group stages and face the possibility of an early exit from the Europa League. Bilbao were outstanding at Old Trafford and subjected United to their second successive home defeat in the Europa League.
Ferguson admitted that the Spanish side were better on the night and they could have won by more goals if it was not down to a great performance by David de Gea in the Man United goal.
Ferguson takes his team to San Mames next Thursday for the return leg and knows that his side will have their work cut out against Marcelo Bielsa’s outfit. Two of the Bilbao goals were unfortunate for Man United with Oscar de Marcos’ second goal being offside and a controversial third where a free-kick was given against Patrice Evra when he kicked the ball having lost his boot. The Man United boss had no complaints and admitted his side will have to defend much better in the return leg.
“It was unfortunate for us, but Bilbao were the better team. Our keeper has made four or five terrific saves in the game, so it is really not the worst result for us. It’s an uphill fight for us and the question is can we win the match next week? I think we can. We can win over there and we showed we can create chances, but we are going to have to defend better”, Ferguson said.
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