United had an almost impossible task on their hands and turned to experience to try to beat the odds - Giggs, Park, Ferdinand and Rooney all got the nod. Faced with an uphill battle, the red devils tried to take it to Athletic Bilbao and exert pressure in advanced areas of the field.
|United tried to stifle Bilbao, at first|
Just like it had been the case during the first leg, Bilbao was almost man-marking Manchester United out of the game, confident in their coordination, speed and intensity - starting with the excellent (former midfielder) Javi Martínez marking Wayne Rooney everywhere he went. Giggs looked lost for most of the match (Sir Alex Ferguson has yet to realise that his team rarely win important matches with Giggs in central midfield) as he wasn't sure if he was supposed to drop back and help out or stay up and try to overload his opponent.
|Bilbao were pretty much man-marking their opponents|
From then on, there was virtually nothing left but to watch Bielsa's perfectly-drilled side in their magnificent pressing - the coordination and solidarity are impressive - and triangle-shaped combinations, creating scoring chance after scoring chance. In the end, the result was more than flattering for United, considering the numerous clear-cut chances Bilbao had to get a historical win.
|The man on the ball always had at least two passing options|
|After easily getting out from the back, Bilbao get ready to create yet another chance|
|Another example of how to bypass your opponent|
|Two perfect triangles|