Manchester United were beaten 3-2 at home at Athletic Bilbao following a brilliant performance from the Spanish side.

Whilst Bilbao’s second goal appeared to be offside and their third came in bizarre circumstances after the referee arranged a strange freekick, they were clearly the better team.

Sir Alex Ferguson has claimed that if United improve their defending in the second leg they will be able to progress to the next round.

“We were well beaten, I have to say they were the better team,” said Ferguson. “I thought our defending wasn’t very good tonight and that kept us on the back foot all the time. Our attacking play was very good at times and it was an open, entertaining match. But Bilbao were the better side. We can still win the game. No question. We showed we can make chances against them, but obviously we have to defend better. I need to really look and see how we can maybe bring Rio Ferdinand in without disrupting the league programme.”