Manchester United were dealt a harsh football lesson for the second time by an excellent Athletic Bilbao team. As a United fan, I must admit, despite our Premier League position, I have been worried by some of our performances this season, particularly in Europe. All too often we have come up short. Over the two legs, Athletic Bilbao were totally dominant in virtually all areas. In fact, the 5-3 aggregate score flatters us. They were quicker, more inventive, pressured us when we had possession and could have score 4 or 5. So what do United need to do in order to compete in Europe next year?
I think we’ve done fantastically well to keep the pressure on City this season, despite all the injury problems. To have our noses in front at this stage brings the hope of another Premier League title. We do have some promising youngsters coming through and establishing themselves. Is this a transitional season, or does Sir Alex need to make some big signings for next season? Giggs and Scholes can’t go on forever. I think we need to strengthen the squad for next season and bring in a couple of world class players. Competition from other clubs in the Premier League and Europe is increasing each season. We can’t let our standards slip.
Congratulations to Athletic Bilbao. Seldom have I seen my team outplayed by such a margin. I hope they go on to win The Europa League. As for United, this season could still turn out to be one of the most memorable if we are able to win the League from our City rivals. There couldn’t be a sweeter victory.