United and City crash out of Europe

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Updated: March 16, 2012

Manchester United and Manchester City were bundled out of the Europa League by less glamorous opponents on Thursday as their wretched continental seasons ended in last-16 defeat.

City clawed their way back from 2-0 down on the night to win 3-2 against visiting Sporting Lisbon but went out on away goals after a 3-3 aggregate result.

United were outclassed in both legs by Athletic Bilbao, losing 2-1 on the night in Spain and 5-3 overall.

Two down at halftime at Eastlands, City staged a breathtaking rally with two goals by Sergio Aguero and a Mario Balotelli penalty to stand on the verge of a remarkable comeback.

A fairytale ending was millimetres away when goalkeeper Joe Hart’s header whizzed just wide in the last minute of stoppage time.

Sporting and Bilbao are joined in the last eight by Valencia, who drew 1-1 at PSV Eindhoven to go through 5-3 overall, and Hanover 96 who beat Standard Liege 4-0 for a 6-2 aggregate win.

Three La Liga sides advanced with Atletico Madrid joining Bilbao and Valencia in the next round after a 3-0 win at Besiktas gave them a 6-1 aggregate triumph.

Schalke 04 also made the quarterfinals having overhauled a first-leg deficit to beat Twente Enschede 4-1 on the night and 4-2 overall.

Metalist Kharkiv of Ukraine progressed on away goals after a 2-2 aggregate result against Olympiakos Piraeus.