Manchester United knocked out of Europa League
Mar 15, 2012, 20:29 GMT
Berlin - Premier League leaders Manchester United were on Thursday knocked out of the Europa League as they lost their return leg round of 16 match at Athletic Bilbao 2-1.
Having already lost the first leg at home 3-2, United were always going to face an uphill battle in Spain and goals by Fernando Llorente and Oscar de Marcos gave the home side a historic victory.
Wayne Rooney scored a late goal for United.
There was further good news for Spain as Valencia also advanced to the quarter-final after drawing 1-1 at PSV Eindhoven to go through 5-3 on aggregate.
Valencia's Adil Rami was shown a straight red card late in the game and will miss at least the first leg of the quarter-final.
In Italy, Udinese looked well on course to overcome a 2-0 first leg deficit as opponents AZ Alkmaar were down to 10 men from the second minute after Nick Viergever was sent off and Antonio di Natale scored twice within the opening 15 minutes.
Erik Falkenburg however, pulled one back for the Dutch side, who could then have even equalized, but missed a second half penalty. They then hung on to go through 3-2 on aggregate after having won the first leg 2-0.
Also through on the night were German Bundesliga club Hanover 96, who beat Standard Liege 4-0 for a 6-2 aggregate victory. The visitors had Serge Gakpe sent off in the second half and conceded two own goals through their defender Kanu.
Hanover sporting director Joerg Schmadtke admitted that the result was a bit too one-sided. 'But the win was completely deserved. Our fans were fantastic and I am pleased that the team managed to play their game.'
The remaining four quarter-finalists will be determined later Thursday.
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