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02 March 2024

Bilbao insult to Man Utd will let Devils see Red

Athletic Bilbao's Oscar de Marcos (L), Fernando Llorente (C) and Inigo Perez celebrate after their Europa League soccer match against Manchester United in Manchester, northern England March 8, 2012. (REUTERS)

By Staff

Athletic Bilbao have taken the risk of stirring a hornet’s nest ahead of their crunch clash with Manchester United in Spain tomorrow.

Oscar de Marcos who scored Bilbao’s second goal in last week’s 3-2 Europa League win at Old Trafford, has said that the team is confident they can finish off Manchester United and added, that the Basque club can beat “any” team in the world.

Manchester United will only be further riled up by that statement to ensure they attempt at a Euro-League double stays alive.

While Bilbao clearly have the advantage with three away goals, United have the pedigree to and the experience to keep a clean sheet and score three, or more.

De Marcos says how boss Marcelo Bielsa has given his men the belief that they are the equal of anyone.

“The coach is putting it in our heads that nobody is better than us, that we can compete with any team and we did that against one of the best teams in the world,” said De Marcos, ahead of the second leg of the last-16 tie in northern Spain.

“The key thing [in the first leg] was we had the ball the whole game. It’s our ­philosophy, as the manager has taught us, to keep the ball and thanks to this we created a lot of chances.”

Athletic, whose star striker Fernando Llorente is doubtful with a thigh injury, are looking to their fans in the hostile San Mames stadium to lift them.