Athletic Bilbao finished what they’ve started as Marcelo Bielsa’s team spectacularly eliminated Manchester United from the Europa League with another inspiring victory in the second leg.
Marcelo Bielsa’s team once again showed their quality and defeated Man United 2-1 on the night, extending the total aggregate to 5-3 in favor of the Basque outfit.
Holding a pretty good 3-2 away lead didn’t stop Bilbao from playing with the same hunger in the second leg as they obviously doesn’t want to blow up the advantage that they earned in the first leg. Playing with their usual flowing playing style, Bielsa team once again caused plenty problems for United, although the visitor were actually looking really serious in trying to turn things around on the night.
After missing some chances, Bilbao eventually took the lead through Fernando Llorente’s terrific first time volley, beating David De Gea on Man United’s goal, who couldn’t really do anything much with the quality of this soot. Unfortunately the striker, whose fitness was already at doubt ahead of the match, can’t continue for much longer as he was substituted just before the half time whistle, allowing Torquero to enter the pitch.
In the second half, Bilbao increased their pressure as they were still hungry for more goals and did managed to add another one midway in that period through Oscar De Marcos’ shot inside the penalty area. That second goal was something that La Liga side’s truly deserved as they should actually scored earlier with tons of chances that Bielsa’s team created in front of Man United’s goal, some area that might need to be worked out more by the Basque based outfit in the next round.
Despite already cruising in the match, Bilbao didn’t stop creating chances but their poor finishing simply denied them from embarrassing the English champion on the night. Against the run of play, Man United grabbed a consolation goal as Wayne Rooney struck a sublime right footed shot from outside the penalty area, providing a little bit scare for the home team, as there’s still 10 minutes left in the clock.
However, Bilbao’s calm display eventually secured their passage into the next round and they eventually be placed as one of the favorites to win the tournament considering their success in eliminating Man United. Bielsa needs to improve his team’s finishing though before eying a chance to win the tournament since their domination really didn’t count much in the score board since it was another tight scoreline in paper.