MANCHESTER's big two were today coming to terms with being European also-rans.
United's s worst season in Europe for 18 years ended in Spain last night when they crashed out on aggregate after losing 2-1 to Athletic Bilbao in Spain.
And their city rivals were dumped by Sporting Lisbon on away goals despite winning 3-2 at Eastlands.
Sir Alex Ferguson made no attempt at excuses and admitted his side were well and truly beaten, the home side winning 2-1 in the night, 5-3 on aggregate.
United won just three of their 10 games in Uefa competition and suffered a hat-trick of losses for the first time since 2004.
Ferguson said: "It has been a disappointing year, there's no denying that."
Keeper Joe Hart thought he had scored a winner for Man City when his injury-time header was pushed wide of a post as Lisbon held on to reach the quarter-finals.
City, down 1-0 from the first leg, dug themselves a deeper hole when Mathias Fernandez and Ricky van Wolfswinkel put Sporting 2-0 up in the first half.
However, City got themselves back into it in a thrilling final half-hour as Sergio Aguero scored either side of a Mario Balotelli penalty.
In the last of five minutes of injury-time, Hart, up for a corner, got on the end of a cross from Nigel de Jong and sent a header goalwards, only to see his opposite number touch it wide.
"I can't believe it, I thought it was in," said Hart.
"It didn't need to get to that, but football is football. The fans were fantastic and we didn't give them what they deserved.
"Hopefully we can take some positives out of the second half and move on now."