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Disastrous night in Europe as Manchester sides are beaten

Manchester United have an almighty task ahead to make the Europa League quarter-finals after losing 3-2 to Athletic Bilbao at Old Trafford on Thursday.

Wayne Rooney's opportunism opened the scoring against the run of play on 22 minutes but Fernando Llorente's powerful header (pictured) to draw level at the break was the least Bilbao deserved.

Oscar de Marcos and Iker Muniain gave the Spaniards a 3-1 advantage, though Marcelo Bielsa's side were lucky on both occasions following a dubious offside call and referee Florian Meyer's decision to award a free-kick against Patrice Evra for losing his boot.

Rooney's late penalty offers United slight hope for the away leg, though Ferguson's men can expect a tough game from a Bilbao side who put in one of the performances of the season.

Away defeat 

Elsewhere, Manchester City must overturn a 1-0 deficit after Xandao's back-heel gave Sporting Lisbon victory in the last 16 encounter. 

The centre-back finished cheekily after Joe Hart had parried his follow-up to a Matias Fernandez free-kick.

City were lackluster throughout though an impressive late cameo from subsitute Mario Balotelli offered hope. The 21-year-old was desperately unlucky not to score when his header crashed back off the bar.

Roberto Mancini will be confident of winning the return leg at the Etihad but will now be sweating over the fitness of captain Vincent Kompany who came off injured.

First leg results:

Athletico Madrid 3-1 Besiktas

Met Kharkiv 0-1 Olympiakos

FC Twente 1-0 Schalke 04

Sporting 1-0 Man City

AZ Alkmaar 2-0 Udinese

Man Utd 2-3 Athletic Bilbao

Standard Liege 2-2 Hannover 96

Valencia 4-2 PSV Eindhoven


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