16 Mar 2012

United and City out of Europe

12:35 pm on 16 March 2012

Manchester United's humiliating European football season has ended after being knocked out of the Europa League by Spanish side Athletic Bilbao in their last-16 clash at Bilbao.

But bitter crosstown rivals Manchester City also bowed out of Europe despite beating visitors Sporting Lisbon of Portugal 3-2.

City went out on away goals after a 3-3 aggregate result despite clawing their way back from 2-0 down on the night, while United were outclassed in both legs by Athletic Bilbao, losing 2-1 on the night in Spain and 5-3 overall.

Manchester United were beaten in the Champions League final last season and are current leaders in the English Premiership, one point clear of City.

Both had parachuted into the second-tier competition after group-stage exits from the elite Champions League and both boasted much bigger resources than their conquerors.