Manchester United crashed out of the Europa League in devastating fashion as they were outclassed by Athletic in their last-16 tie in Bilbao.

Iker Muniain hit the post before Fernando Llorente scored a fantastic volley from Fernando Amorebieta's raking diagonal pass.

Ryan Giggs then headed wide but Oscar de Marcos put further daylight between the sides when he crashed in.

Wayne Rooney scored from 25 yards late on but it was merely a consolation.

It was a fine strike from the United forward to score his 28th goal of the season, but it was only a footnote as a young Athletic team once again posed all sorts of questions for their opponents.

Just as in the Old Trafford game a week ago Marcelo Bielsa's side pressed all over the pitch and attacked en masse, and in the end Sir Alex Ferguson's team could not stem the flow.

CUP FINAL RUN ENDS

  • Defeat means it is the first time in 10 years that Manchester United have failed to reach a cup final

That it came from a side seventh in La Liga, 33 points behind leaders Real Madrid, perhaps added weight to the argument surrounding the strength of the Premier League challenge in Europe this season.

And only the most churlish of observers would begrudge the Basque team a place in the next round as United ended a disappointing European campaign which failed on two fronts, following their Champions League exit.

With a five-man midfield closing the many gaps that appeared in the first leg, last season's Champions League finalists had a more solid base from which to attack.

But after Ashley Young, operating on the left, had a close-range shot blocked by the Athletic defence, the hosts began to tease openings from their left flank.

Muniain struck a post on 14 minutes when he was cleverly found by Llorente's lay-off and De Marcos should have buried the follow up, but skied over from eight yards out.

Llorente then dismissed any worries about that faux pas when he peeled away from Rio Ferdinand and volleyed in Amorebieta's long diagonal pass.

It was a glorious strike as the 50-yard assist came over his shoulder, and it was only a shame the striker had to be replaced because of injury before the break.

Ferguson tips Athletic Bilbao for title

The goal clicked United into a higher gear but some robust Athletic defending limited them to a close-range Giggs header which was deflected over.

As much as Premier League leaders United wanted to make an impression as the game progressed, they were not allowed to.

The pressing, link-up play and tempo that the hosts produced did not give Ferguson's team any chance of feeding an isolated Rooney up front.

Indeed, Athletic's status in the game was highlighted when right-back Andoni Iraola danced round Ferdinand and Jonny Evans but shot inches wide.

But the skipper played a part in the second goal when he crossed from the right, and once the ball dropped to De Marcos he smashed past David de Gea.

Markel Susaeta and substitute Gaizka Toquero could have added to the total before Rooney gave United something to cheer as he curled in.

United will now return home to maintain their Premier League challenge, but there is no doubt they received a footballing lesson that will be hard to forget.

Lineup, Bookings (3) & Substitutions (6)

Athletic Bilbao

  • 01 Iraizoz
  • 03 Aurtenetxe
  • 05 Amorebieta
  • 15 Iraola
  • 08 Iturraspe
  • 14 Susaeta Booked
  • 21 Herrera Ander (Perez - 82' )
  • 24 Javi Martinez
  • 09 Llorente (Toquero Pinedo - 40' )
  • 10 De Marcos
  • 19 Muniain (San Jose Dominguez - 88' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Raul
  • 06 San Jose Dominguez
  • 23 Ekiza
  • 02 Toquero Pinedo
  • 07 David Lopez
  • 17 Perez
  • 28 Ibai

Manchester United

  • 01 De Gea
  • 03 Evra
  • 05 Ferdinand (Smalling - 63' )
  • 06 Evans
  • 21 Rafael Booked
  • 11 Giggs (Welbeck - 68' )
  • 13 Park Ji-sung
  • 16 Carrick (Pogba - 63' Booked )
  • 18 Young
  • 23 Cleverley
  • 10 Rooney

Substitutes

  • 40 Amos
  • 12 Smalling
  • 20 Fabio
  • 22 Scholes
  • 42 Pogba
  • 14 Hernandez
  • 19 Welbeck
Ref: Cakir
Att: 40,000

Match Stats

Shots

14 4

On target

5 4

Corners

5 5

Fouls

5 8

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:09 Full time

Full Time The match has reached full-time.

90:00 +2:28

The ball is sent over by Wayne Rooney.

90:00 +1:59

Foul by Aguinaga Javi Martinez on Paul Pogba, free kick awarded. Jonathan Evans takes the direct free kick.

89:24

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Markel Susaeta by Ashley Young. Fernando Amorebieta takes the free kick.

88:45

Ashley Young takes a inswinging corner.

88:14

Danny Welbeck takes a shot. Gorka Iraizoz makes a save.

87:23 Substitution

Substitution Mikel San Jose on for Iker Muniain.

86:24

Outswinging corner taken by Soto Inigo Perez, clearance made by Rafael Da Silva.

85:27

Corner taken by Markel Susaeta from the left by-line, clearance by Jonathan Evans.

83:59

Free kick awarded for a foul by Paul Pogba on Aguinaga Javi Martinez. Soto Inigo Perez has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.

83:18

Oscar De Marcos produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the box and misses to the left of the goal.

82:03

Paul Pogba concedes a free kick for a foul on Aguinaga Javi Martinez. Direct free kick taken by Jon Aurtenetxe.

81:32 Substitution

Substitution Aguera Ander Herrera goes off and Soto Inigo Perez comes on.

79:55 Goal scored

Goal! - Wayne Rooney - Ath Bilbao 2 - 1 Man Utd Wayne Rooney scores a fantastic goal from outside the box to the top right corner of the goal. Athletic Bilbao 2 (5)-(3) 1 Man Utd.

78:15

Markel Susaeta takes a shot. Save made by David De Gea.

76:35

Aguinaga Javi Martinez gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Danny Welbeck. Paul Pogba restarts play with the free kick.

73:55

Centre by Andoni Iraola, Header on goal by Gaizka Toquero from inside the box goes harmlessly over the target.

71:08

Direct free kick taken by Aguera Ander Herrera.

71:08 Booking

Booking Booking for Paul Pogba.

71:06

Paul Pogba gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Aguera Ander Herrera.

67:19 Substitution

Substitution Danny Welbeck is brought on as a substitute for Ryan Giggs.

64:59

Andoni Iraola provided the assist for the goal.

64:59 Goal scored

Goal! - Oscar De Marcos - Ath Bilbao 2 - 0 Man Utd Goal scored by Oscar De Marcos from inside the penalty area high into the middle of the goal. Athletic Bilbao 2 (5)-(2) 0 Man Utd.

62:31 Substitution

Substitution Paul Pogba joins the action as a substitute, replacing Michael Carrick.

62:31 Substitution

Substitution Chris Smalling is brought on as a substitute for Rio Ferdinand.

61:56

Rafael Da Silva fouled by Gaizka Toquero, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Jonathan Evans.

59:09

Aguera Ander Herrera takes the free kick.

59:09 Booking

Booking Rafael Da Silva shown a yellow card.

59:08

The referee gives a free kick against Rafael Da Silva for handball.

54:48

Patrice Evra restarts play with the free kick.

54:48 Booking

Booking Booking for Markel Susaeta for unsporting behaviour.

54:48

Free kick awarded for a foul by Markel Susaeta on Patrice Evra.

53:22

Andoni Iraola has an effort at goal from deep inside the area missing to the right of the goal.

50:37

Ryan Giggs gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Ander Iturraspe. Fernando Amorebieta takes the direct free kick.

47:20

Shot from outside the box by Markel Susaeta misses to the left of the goal.

45:01

The referee gets the second half underway.

45:00 +1:13 Half time

Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.

43:55

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Ashley Young.

39:10 Substitution

Substitution Fernando Llorente leaves the field to be replaced by Gaizka Toquero.

36:26

Corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs.

34:52

Inswinging corner taken by Ryan Giggs from the left by-line, Gorka Iraizoz makes a save.

34:11

Oscar De Marcos delivers the ball.

33:00

Free kick awarded for a foul by Wayne Rooney on Aguinaga Javi Martinez. Gorka Iraizoz takes the free kick.

27:19

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Ryan Giggs from the left by-line.

27:01

The ball is sent over by Ashley Young, Ryan Giggs takes a shot. Save by Gorka Iraizoz.

22:51

Assist by Fernando Amorebieta.

22:51 Goal scored

Goal! - Fernando Llorente - Ath Bilbao 1 - 0 Man Utd A goal is scored by Fernando Llorente from just inside the penalty area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Athletic Bilbao 1 (4)-(2) 0 Man Utd.

22:23

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

16:52

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ashley Young by Ander Iturraspe. Free kick taken by Ashley Young.

15:40

Tom Cleverley produces a cross, Gorka Iraizoz makes a save.

13:41

Oscar De Marcos produces a left-footed shot from inside the area that clears the crossbar.

13:15

Effort from just inside the penalty area by Iker Muniain strikes the post.

11:17

Effort from outside the area by Oscar De Marcos goes wide right of the goal.

10:43

Unfair challenge on Markel Susaeta by Rafael Da Silva results in a free kick. Markel Susaeta takes the direct free kick.

8:46

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Markel Susaeta from the left by-line.

8:13

Ashley Young takes a shot. Save made by Gorka Iraizoz.

4:17

A cross is delivered by Wayne Rooney.

3:35

Outswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Markel Susaeta, Aguinaga Javi Martinez takes a shot. Clearance made by Rafael Da Silva.

3:13

Corner taken by Markel Susaeta.

1:54

Foul by Michael Carrick on Aguera Ander Herrera, free kick awarded. Markel Susaeta produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick.

0:00

The ref blows the whistle to start the match.

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