WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

WHAT THE PAPERS SAY

The extracts on this page are taken from selected national newspapers. The views expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Manchester United.

Papers: Reds still alive

09/03/2012 10:11

Andy Hunter writes in The Guardian

United face uphill fight
Sir Alex Ferguson insisted the Europa League quarter-finals are not beyond Manchester United despite conceding his team were fortunate to escape with a 3-2 defeat against Athletic Bilbao at Old Trafford. United are facing the prospect of an early exit from a second European competition this season after being outplayed by an outstanding Bilbao side and subjected to a second successive home defeat in the Europa League. "There's no doubt Bilbao were the better side," Ferguson said. "They were very aggressive in their attacking and pressing, which is something we expected. It's an uphill fight for us and the question is can we win the match next week? I think we can. We have to assess the games because we are finding it difficult marrying Thursday and Sundays, but I think we can win the game OK. We can win over there and we showed we can create chances, but we are going to have to defend better."

There’s plenty of coverage of United’s 3-2 reversal to the Basque side, with many papers focusing on Sir Alex’s reaction to referee Florian Meyer's decision to award a free-kick against a bootless Patrice Evra.

The Telegraph runs a piece in praise of Athletic’s Fernando Llorente and Javi Martinez, and most papers are in agreement that United have it all to do to progress.

Elsewhere, the Daily Mail claims the Reds are monitoring Benfica midfielder Axel Witsel and Vasco da Gama defender Dede.

More:  Sir Alex rues defending | Boss ponders rethink | Evans: Knowhow could count

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