Thursday, March 15, 2012

Fergie: Man U have had a "disappointing year"

Sir Alex Ferguson reflected on a "disappointing year" after Manchester United were unceremoniously dumped out of Europe by Athletic Club at San Mames on Thursday (Live soccer betting: 4/7 Manchester United - Premier League outright bet365).

The reigning Premier League champions were given a harsh lesson on home soil in the first leg when Marcelo Biesla's high-energy La Liga outfit ran out comfortable 3-2 winners.

The task was made even more difficult when they conceded an early goal in the return fixture to the impressive Fernando Llorente. Oscar de Marcos doubled his side's advantage before Wayne Rooney halved the deficit on the night with an excellent consolation strike from range.

The result means United have won just three of their 10 games in Uefa competition and suffered a hat-trick of losses for the first time since 2004 - an alarming fall from grace for a team that contested three of the last four Champions League finals.

Ferguson pulled no punches with a damning assessment of his side's form in Europe this season and confirmed he would endeavour to find out what went wrong.

"Trying to analyse this season against others is a bit difficult," he said. "There is a route in terms of some of the goals we have lost in these tournaments. They have been pretty poor.

"It has been a disappointing year."

The game's longest-serving manager said sulking was not an option and demanded his players pick themselves up for a trip to Wolves on Sunday and the chance to open up a four-point gap over local rivals Manchester City at the top of the Premier League (Soccer betting tips: Wolves 8/1 draw 4/1 Manchester United 1/3 - bet365 90 minutes).

"Feeling sorry for myself is not an issue for me," he added. "There is a disappointment but analysing the performances is more important and we have an important game on Sunday."

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