Manchester United face an uphill battle to reach the Europa League quarter-finals after a shock first-leg defeat by a fearless Athletic Bilbao side.

Wayne Rooney smashed United ahead from close range before Fernando Llorente's header drew the visitors level.

But the cavalier Spaniards refused to settle for a draw as United failed to win yet another European home game.

The hosts were stunned by second-half goals from Oscar de Marcos and Iker Muniain before a late Rooney penalty.

United at home in Europe

27 September: Man Utd 3-3 Basel

2 November: Man Utd 2-0 Otelul Galati

22 November: Man Utd 2-2 Benfica

23 February: Man Utd 1-2 Ajax

8 March: Man Utd 2-3 Athletic Bilbao

Defeat leaves United with just one win from their five European games at Old Trafford this season, with the solitary victory coming in less than convincing fashion against Romanian minnows Otelul Galati.

After their disappointing Champions League exit, United are seeking some solace by attempting to win the continent's secondary competition and therefore become only the fourth side, after Juventus, Ajax and Bayern Munich, to win all three major European club trophies.

But Sir Alex Ferguson's men have left themselves with a tough task to even make the last eight after an entertaining clash against the fifth-placed La Liga side.

A stunning performance from Marcelo Bielsa's energetic and aggressive Bilbao team shocked Old Trafford and the Spaniards could have run away with victory but for several superb second-half saves from their countryman David de Gea.

However, the home side were given a glimmer of hope when Rooney kept his cool from the penalty spot after De Marcos inexplicably handled inside his own box with just seconds left.

Teenage attacker Muniain pulled all the strings around the home box after the break, going close himself with a fierce drive and setting up Llorente, before De Marcos slammed home Ander Herrara's lofted pass.

Analysis

"That second goal for United could be hugely significant, while David de Gea made three or four world-class saves and every United player should give him a pat on the back. If it wasn't for De Gea, Bilbao would have been out of sight."

And the vociferous 6,500 Bilbao fans packed inside Old Trafford were left in dreamland when Muniain pounced on a catalogue of errors from United's dozy defenders in the final minute.

However, there was an element of controversy about the decisive goal with Patrice Evra penalised for kicking the ball without his boot.

United boss Ferguson fielded a strong side and warned his players beforehand to wake up from their European slumber or face the consequences against Bilbao.

Rooney fired United ahead against the run of play when Javier Hernandez's shot was parried by keeper Gorka Iraizoz after the Mexican twisted into space inside the away box.

But Ferguson watched his players offer plenty of encouragement to Bilbao with yet more of the sloppy defensive errors which have typified their continental woes this season.

Bilbao arrived at Old Trafford with a burgeoning reputation after an encouraging domestic season under the guidance of former Argentina and Chile boss Bielsa, who arrived in the summer.

The Argentine has breathed new life into the Basque club and its fervent support can continue to dream that their 28-year trophy drought may be about to end.

Bielsa's side, with an average age of less than 24, have not been afraid to show their youthful exuberance in La Liga this season, playing with an attacking intent that has yielded a goals tally bettered only by Barcelona and Real Madrid.

Did you know?

Bilbao's victory is the first time Manchester United have lost back-to-back European home games since 1996

Certainly the hosts had to be alert from the first whistle with Bilbao not allowing them any time to relax on the ball with their high-tempo pressing game.

A frantic first half saw the game sweep from end-to-end as both sides tried to take the contest by the scruff of the neck.

Llorente cancelling out Rooney's opener was fair reflection of the opening 45 minutes, but any hopes United had of Bilbao settling for an away goal and draw swiftly evaporated after the break.

For all their relentless, attacking instincts there was a suspicion United may be able to exploit the space left behind Bilbao's high line and punish their wastefulness.

But those fears failed to materialise as a marginally offside De Marcos - and then Muniain, who capitalised on hesitancy from Rafael - finally made United pay.

With the scoreline at 3-1 it seemed United's Europa League participation looked over, before Rooney's penalty kept the tie alive ahead of next Thursday's second leg.

Lineup, Bookings (1) & Substitutions (5)

Man Utd

  • 01 De Gea
  • 03 Evra
  • 04 Jones
  • 06 Evans
  • 12 Smalling (Carrick - 55' )
  • 21 Rafael
  • 11 Giggs (Nani - 75' )
  • 13 Park Ji-sung (Anderson - 61' )
  • 18 Young
  • 10 Rooney
  • 14 Hernandez

Substitutes

  • 40 Amos
  • 05 Ferdinand
  • 20 Fabio
  • 08 Anderson
  • 16 Carrick
  • 17 Nani
  • 19 Welbeck

Athletic Bilbao

  • 01 Iraizoz
  • 03 Aurtenetxe
  • 06 San Jose Dominguez Booked
  • 15 Iraola
  • 08 Iturraspe
  • 14 Susaeta
  • 21 Herrera Ander (Perez - 84' )
  • 24 Javi Martinez
  • 09 Llorente (Toquero Pinedo - 81' )
  • 10 De Marcos
  • 19 Muniain

Substitutes

  • 13 Raul
  • 12 Koikili
  • 23 Ekiza
  • 02 Toquero Pinedo
  • 07 David Lopez
  • 17 Perez
  • 28 Ibai
Ref: Meyer
Att: 59,265

Match Stats

Shots

12 22

On target

7 14

Corners

3 8

Fouls

11 16

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:40 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +3:24

Inswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Ashley Young. Corner taken by Luis Nani played to the near post, clearance made by Gaizka Toquero. Shot from just outside the area by Michael Carrick goes over the bar.

90:00 +2:46

Jon Aurtenetxe concedes a free kick for a foul on Luis Nani. The free kick is swung in right-footed by Luis Nani, clearance made by Jonathan Evans.

90:00 +1:50 Goal scored

Goal! - Wayne Rooney - Man Utd 2 - 3 Ath Bilbao Power penalty scored by Wayne Rooney. Man Utd 2-3 Athletic Bilbao.

90:00 +1:03

Handball by Oscar De Marcos.

89:01 Goal scored

Goal! - Iker Muniain - Man Utd 1 - 3 Ath Bilbao Iker Muniain grabs a goal from close range to the top left corner of the goal. Man Utd 1-3 Athletic Bilbao.

88:56

Oscar De Marcos takes a shot. Save by David De Gea.

85:58

Soto Inigo Perez concedes a free kick for a foul on Michael Carrick. Direct free kick taken by David De Gea.

85:02

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ashley Young on Aguinaga Javi Martinez. Aguinaga Javi Martinez restarts play with the free kick.

84:09

Soto Inigo Perez takes a inswinging corner to the near post, clearance by Wayne Rooney.

82:41 Substitution

Substitution Soto Inigo Perez on for Aguera Ander Herrera.

82:41

Ashley Young has an effort at goal from 25 yards. Aguinaga Javi Martinez gets a block in. Gaizka Toquero takes a shot. Save made by David De Gea.

82:08

Gaizka Toquero gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Rafael Da Silva. Phil Jones takes the free kick.

79:55 Substitution

Substitution Gaizka Toquero is brought on as a substitute for Fernando Llorente.

79:55

Rafael Da Silva delivers the ball, Wayne Rooney has a headed effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the left of the target.

79:17

Drilled right-footed shot by Wayne Rooney. Save made by Gorka Iraizoz.

78:12

Centre by Luis Nani, clearance by Ander Iturraspe.

76:52

Free kick awarded for a foul by Jon Aurtenetxe on Luis Nani. Michael Carrick restarts play with the free kick.

75:58

Effort from outside the box by Wayne Rooney goes wide right of the target.

75:45

Unfair challenge on Michael Carrick by Fernando Llorente results in a free kick. Michael Carrick takes the direct free kick.

75:36

Ashley Young crosses the ball, Ander Iturraspe manages to make a clearance.

75:09

Fernando Llorente gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Wayne Rooney. Free kick taken by Oliveira Anderson.

74:09

Direct free kick taken by Markel Susaeta.

74:09 Substitution

Substitution Luis Nani joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ryan Giggs.

74:09

Markel Susaeta fouled by Patrice Evra, the ref awards a free kick.

72:33

Oscar De Marcos gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ryan Giggs. Michael Carrick takes the free kick.

71:09

Aguera Ander Herrera provided the assist for the goal.

71:09 Goal scored

Goal! - Oscar De Marcos - Man Utd 1 - 2 Ath Bilbao A fantastic goal is scored by Oscar De Marcos from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Man Utd 1-2 Athletic Bilbao.

69:27

The ball is sent over by Michael Carrick, Ander Iturraspe manages to make a clearance.

68:14

The ball is sent over by Ryan Giggs, save made by Gorka Iraizoz.

67:07

Iker Muniain takes a shot. Save by David De Gea. Corner taken by Markel Susaeta played to the near post, Jonathan Evans makes a clearance.

66:51

Free kick awarded for a foul by Javier Hernandez on Mikel San Jose. Direct free kick taken by Mikel San Jose.

64:50

Rafael Da Silva challenges Iker Muniain unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Iker Muniain.

63:13

Ryan Giggs takes the free kick.

63:13 Booking

Booking Mikel San Jose receives a yellow card.

63:08

Unfair challenge on Javier Hernandez by Mikel San Jose results in a free kick.

61:59

Ryan Giggs concedes a free kick for a foul on Aguera Ander Herrera. Andoni Iraola takes the direct free kick.

60:49

Markel Susaeta takes the free kick.

60:49 Substitution

Substitution Oliveira Anderson joins the action as a substitute, replacing Ji-Sung Park.

60:49

Foul by Patrice Evra on Andoni Iraola, free kick awarded.

60:04

Ashley Young decides to take the corner short.

59:48

Curled left-footed shot by Javier Hernandez. Aguinaga Javi Martinez gets a block in.

57:59

Handball decision goes against Michael Carrick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Markel Susaeta from left channel, Phil Jones manages to make a clearance. Effort on goal by Mikel San Jose from inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

56:38

Centre by Patrice Evra.

56:15

Unfair challenge on Ashley Young by Jon Aurtenetxe results in a free kick. Free kick taken by Ryan Giggs.

54:36

Strike comes in from Wayne Rooney from the free kick.

54:36 Substitution

Substitution (Man Utd) makes a substitution, with Michael Carrick coming on for Chris Smalling.

54:36

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Rafael Da Silva by Mikel San Jose.

53:08

Centre by Markel Susaeta, clearance made by Phil Jones. Shot from just outside the box by Aguera Ander Herrera goes over the bar.

52:58

Short corner worked by Markel Susaeta.

52:21

Fernando Llorente takes a shot. Save by David De Gea.

51:57

Shot by Fernando Llorente from deep inside the penalty area misses wide to the left of the target.

50:37

Markel Susaeta is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by David De Gea.

50:17

Outswinging corner taken by Markel Susaeta from the right by-line, save by David De Gea.

49:57

The ball is sent over by Iker Muniain, Phil Jones manages to make a clearance.

49:41

Markel Susaeta takes a inswinging corner.

49:11

Iker Muniain takes a shot. Save by David De Gea.

46:41

Oscar De Marcos produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the target.

46:38

Iker Muniain takes a shot. Blocked by Chris Smalling.

45:01

The game restarts for the second half.

45:00 +1:16 Half time

Half Time The players leave the pitch at half time.

45:00 +0:47

The ball is crossed by Aguera Ander Herrera.

45:00 +0:20

Ander Iturraspe fouled by Patrice Evra, the ref awards a free kick. Ander Iturraspe takes the free kick.

43:44

Assist on the goal came from Markel Susaeta.

43:44 Goal scored

Goal! - Fernando Llorente - Man Utd 1 - 1 Ath Bilbao Fernando Llorente scores a headed goal from close range. Man Utd 1-1 Athletic Bilbao.

43:42

Centre by Markel Susaeta,

43:02

Centre by Wayne Rooney, Foul by Javier Hernandez on Aguinaga Javi Martinez, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Gorka Iraizoz.

41:00

A cross is delivered by Wayne Rooney, Gorka Iraizoz makes a save.

40:44

Andoni Iraola produces a cross, clearance by Rafael Da Silva.

39:09

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Smalling by Fernando Llorente. Chris Smalling restarts play with the free kick.

38:41

Phil Jones gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jon Aurtenetxe. Direct free kick taken by Gorka Iraizoz.

38:00

Fernando Llorente challenges Rafael Da Silva unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Ryan Giggs.

36:37

Foul by Oscar De Marcos on Ji-Sung Park, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Jonathan Evans.

36:12

The official flags Javier Hernandez offside. Gorka Iraizoz takes the free kick.

35:11

Andoni Iraola takes a shot. Save by David De Gea. Markel Susaeta takes the outswinging corner, clearance made by Jonathan Evans.

33:52

Centre by Javier Hernandez, clearance made by Ander Iturraspe.

33:30

The ball is crossed by Rafael Da Silva, clearance made by Mikel San Jose.

32:30

Markel Susaeta produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty box that goes wide left of the target.

28:57

Aguera Ander Herrera takes a shot. Blocked by Jonathan Evans. Oscar De Marcos produces a cross, Close range headed effort by Fernando Llorente clears the crossbar.

27:54

A cross is delivered by Jon Aurtenetxe, comfortable save by David De Gea.

26:57

Andoni Iraola takes a shot. Jonathan Evans gets a block in. Outswinging corner taken by Markel Susaeta from the right by-line.

26:23

Markel Susaeta takes a outswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, clearance by Jonathan Evans.

24:23

Ashley Young crosses the ball, blocked by Mikel San Jose.

23:35

Shot from 20 yards from Aguera Ander Herrera. Blocked by Jonathan Evans.

21:54 Goal scored

Goal! - Wayne Rooney - Man Utd 1 - 0 Ath Bilbao Wayne Rooney fires in a goal from inside the six-yard box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Man Utd 1-0 Athletic Bilbao.

21:47

Javier Hernandez takes a shot. Save by Gorka Iraizoz.

20:57

Markel Susaeta takes a shot. Comfortable save by David De Gea.

20:32

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Aguera Ander Herrera by Phil Jones. Free kick taken by Aguera Ander Herrera.

19:56

Free kick awarded for a foul by Ashley Young on Aguinaga Javi Martinez. Free kick taken by Gorka Iraizoz.

19:28

Oscar De Marcos delivers the ball, Chris Smalling manages to make a clearance.

18:16

Fernando Llorente concedes a free kick for a foul on Chris Smalling. Direct free kick taken by Jonathan Evans.

17:54

Iker Muniain is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Chris Smalling.

17:27

The ball is swung over by Ander Iturraspe.

16:39

Javier Hernandez takes a shot. Save by Gorka Iraizoz.

9:45

Shot from just outside the box by Wayne Rooney misses to the right of the target.

7:28

Ashley Young fouled by Jon Aurtenetxe, the ref awards a free kick. Ryan Giggs crosses the ball in from the free kick, save by Gorka Iraizoz.

7:00

The ball is sent over by Ashley Young, clearance made by Mikel San Jose.

6:22

Iker Muniain produces a right-footed shot from just outside the area that goes harmlessly over the bar.

5:01

The ball is sent over by Andoni Iraola.

4:27

The referee gives a free kick against Ji-Sung Park for handball. Aguinaga Javi Martinez takes the free kick.

3:33

Fernando Llorente produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the right of the goal.

2:45

Ryan Giggs takes a shot. Blocked by Mikel San Jose.

0:59

Markel Susaeta sends in a cross, Jon Aurtenetxe concedes a free kick for a foul on Ashley Young. Free kick taken by David De Gea.

0:00

The game begins.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers