Athletic Club   2

Llorente (23), de Marcos (65)

Man United   1

Rooney (80)

15 MARCH 2012, Estadio San Mames Attendance: 40,000

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Athletic Club
1Iraizoz
15Iraola
24Martinez
5Amorebieta
3Aurtenetxe
21Herrerasub17
8Iturraspe
10de Marcosgoal
14Susaetayellow card
9Llorentegoalsub2
19Muniainsub6
Subs:
13Raul
2Toquerosub9
6San Josesub19
7Lopez
17Perezsub21
23Ekiza
28Gomes
Man United
1De Gea
2Rafaelyellow card
6Evans
5Ferdinandsub12
3Evra
7Park
16Carricksub42
23Cleverley
11Giggssub19
18Young
10Rooneygoal
Subs:
40Amos
20Fabio
12Smallingsub5
42Pogbasub16yellow card
22Scholes
19Welbecksub11
14Hernandez

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15/03/2012 19:45, Report by Gemma Thompson
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Athletic Club 2 United 1

As the half wore on the Reds kept up the pressure but could find no way through a stubborn Athletic defence. The home side lost Llorente five minutes before the break to injury – the striker had been a doubt before the game – with Gaizka Toquero replacing him.

Athletic Club showed no signs of letting up after the restart, with de Marcos blasting a shot just wide. Right-back Andoni Iraola almost added a superb second soon after when, after being found on the edge of the area, he tricked his way past a cluster of Reds before clipping his shot just past De Gea’s left-hand post.

He then went close to turning provider in Athletic’s next attack when he burst down the right and crossed to the unmarked Toquero, but the substitute spurned the opportunity and blasted over.

The Reds were struggling to create any chances at the other end and, with another vital Barclays Premier League clash looming at Wolves on Sunday, Sir Alex opted to withdraw Rio Ferdinand and Michael Carrick. Chris Smalling and birthday boy Paul Pogba entered the fray.

No sooner had the substitutes come on, United went further behind as Athletic Club sealed their spot in the Europa League quarter-finals on 66 minutes. Iraola went on another marauding run down the right and although his cross was half-cleared by Smalling it fell to the feet of de Marcos, who brought the ball under control before blasting low past De Gea via a slight deflection off Jonny Evans. Cue more jubilant celebrations around the Estadio San Mames.

It nearly got worse for Sir Alex’s men when Susaeta screwed a shot just wide and Toquero headed over the bar. Instead, Rooney reduced the arrears with

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