UEFA Champions League

December 7, 2011


FC Basel

2 - 1

Manchester United

Group C

19:45 +00:00, December 7, 2011

St Jakob-Park

Referee: Bjorn Kuipers

  • 94'

    FT While the Swiss roll (I resisted until the final comment) into the last 16 of the Champions League, it's the Europa League for United.

  • 94'

    FT The only crumb of comfort for United is that Manchester City have also gone out.

  • 94'

    FT Basel implemented their plan to perfection and unlike United, who squandered chance after chance, scored when they had the chance.

  • 94'

    FT United go out. Two stupid moments in defence have cost last year's beaten finalists a place in last 16.

  • 94'

    De Gea pumps the ball forward but Welbeck is caught offside and that's it! The final whistle goes and Basel are through.

  • 93'

    Giggs launches the ball into the box, Welbeck's flick on goes straight to Sommer.

  • 92'

    Nani puts the ball in the box and Sommer collects it ahead of Smalling, who went in hard on the goalkeeper.

  • 91'

    Stocker comes on for Shaqiri as more time ticks away for Basel.

  • 91'

    Fabian Frie is booked as he winds down the clock with a foul.

  • 90'

    United still need another goal. Only a draw will do and there will be three added minutes.

  • 89'

    Macheda hits the bar from about ten yards out then Phil Jones stabs the ball over the line before Sommer can claw it back.

  • 88'

    GOAL United have got one back in strange circumstances.

  • 87'

    Goalscoring hero Alex Frei goes off to a standing ovation.

  • 86'

    That must be curtains for United now. They have struggled to get one goal, let alone two.

  • 85'

    Shaqiri delivered a hopeful cross that went through the whole of the United defence and found Frei at the back post, who stoops to head the ball home from three yards.

  • 84'

    GOAL Alex Frei have pounced from close range.

  • 83'

    Evans impedes Strella and Basel have a freekick. This time they do pump the ball into the box and Rio heads clear.

  • 82'

    Basel respond with a change of their own. Chipperfield comes on for Xhaka.

  • 81'

    Macheda comes on for Park. Three strikers on for United now.

  • 80'

    Xhaka goes for glory from distance and gets it all wrong.

  • 79'

    Sir Alex Ferguson is off the bench trying to get his players going.

  • 78'

    The Basel fans find there voices, they can smell victory and a place in the next round.

  • 77'

    Phil Jones races forward and crosses for Giggs. Sommer is there first once again but nearly spills the ball at Giggs' feet.

  • 76'

    Park is faced up with a striker playing at left-back but doesn't take him on. Frustrating.

  • 75'

    Giggs' corner finds Rooney. His curling shot goes just wide with the goalkeeper rooted to the spot.

  • 74'

    Rooney's shot is blocked by Shaqiri for a corner.

  • 73'

    Welbeck skirts along the edge of the box but can't find space for shot as another United attack peters out.

  • 72'

    Wave after wave of United attack is floundering in Basel.

  • 71'

    Smalling on the overlap whips in yet another cross. It flashes across goal and Rooney can't react quick enough to get his header on target.

  • 70'

    Giggs delivers a dangerous cross but Sommer reads it well and runs off his line to claim the ball.

  • 69'

    Streller wins a freekick from Evans and Basel have the chance to whip the ball into the United box. They play it short instead.

  • 68'

    United are starting to look a little bit desperate - hurrying passes and losing possession cheaply.

  • 67'

    Shaqiri slips and goes down holding his shoulder. But he's back up again.

  • 66'

    Nani gets some space on the right and crosses for Rooney, who gets his head to the ball but can't direct his effort on target under pressure from Abraham.

  • 65'

    Park has switched to the left and finds Welbeck, who sets up Nani. The Portugal international shoots high and wide from the edge of the box.

  • 64'

    United make a change. Welbeck comes on for Young.

  • 63'

    Rooney beats Abraham but drags his shot wide of the post.

  • 62'

    United are camped on the edge of the Basel box. Giggs tries to find a way through and then Rooney, but still no dice for United.

  • 61'

    Sommer comes off his line to collect a Nani cross and gives his side a breather.

  • 60'

    Steinhofer almost smashes the ball into his own net from a Nani cross. Luckily for the No.27 his shot/clearence hits the bar and bounces clear.

  • 59'

    Giggs has an age to slide a pass into three United players in the box but hits the first man. Unforgivable.

  • 58'

    Nani's cross is deflected. It loops goalwards but just drops past the post for a corner.

  • 57'

    Frei gets past Smalling and is just about to shoot when the United defender recovers to make an excellent tackle.

  • 56'

    Basel a much more calm on the ball in this second-half and are retainign possession well.

  • 55'

    Jones breaks and set Park free down the right. The Winger's cross is poor and the chance is gone.

  • 54'

    ...Alex Frei takes it and De Gea palms the shot over the bar. Good save.

  • 53'

    Xhaka falls over and gets a freekick for no reason. It's on the left of the United area...

  • 52'

    Streller sats up Shaqiri to shoot on the left. The midfielder's curling effort is watched past the post by De Gea.

  • 51'

    United think Vidic has knee ligament damage and "fear the worst" but won't know for sure until a scan back in England.

  • 50'

    Nani twists and turns on the edge of the box and makes room for a shot. Sommer makes yet another save.

  • 49'

    Rooney beats the offside trap, who curls his shot past Sommer but also past the far post. So close for United.

  • 48'

    Dragovic makes a good tackle on Giggs but Basel still can't get the ball under control.

  • 47'

    Nani slips a pass through to Park, who cuts the ball back to the edge of the box... but there is nobody waiting there to fire off a shot.

  • 46'

    No changes to either side as Basel get the second-half underway.


    HT ITV journo fails to ask Fergie about Vidic injury during his half-time interview. You're sacked!


    HT It will be more of the same relentless attack from United in the second-half. The question is: can Basel hold on?


    HT Rooney should have levelled the scores but got his feet all tangled up and that was by far United's best chance.


    HT Well, United have made all the running but as it stands Basel are going through and the Red Devils are going out.

  • 46'

    Young gets booked for pulling back a Basel player.

  • 46'

    Nani takes on three Basel defenders but fails.

  • 45'

    Shaqiri bamboozles Park, then shoots from out on the right flank. De Gea is ready for it and plucks his effort out of the night sky.

  • 44'

    Fabian Frei sets up Shaqiri on the edge of the box. The midfielder scuffs a shot wide and Frei is not happy that he didn't get a return pass.

  • 43'

    It looks like a bad injury for Vidic, who is stretchered off. Evans comes on for United.

  • 42'

    Streller falls awkwardly on Vidic's right leg and it looks like the centre-back will not be able to continue.

  • 41'

    United pump a series of passes and crosses into the box but nothing will drop for them.

  • 40'

    Basel showing less and less atacking intent when they have the ball as the half-time whistle nears.

  • 39'

    Young fires in from the left of the box. His shot skips off the turf ahead of Sommer, who gets his body behind the ball to make an easy save.

  • 38'

    Park is pulled back by Cabral in the box, but the South Korean stays on his feet and the ref gives nothing.

  • 37'

    Giggs rolls the freekick back to Jones, whose shot is blocked by a mass of red and blue shirts.

  • 36'

    Rooney feeds Nani down the line. Joo-Ho fouls Nani on the right of the box as he threatens to get in on goal.

  • 35'

    Nani latches onto a loose ball just ahead of Sommer, who blocks Nani's instant shot. United really knocking on the door now.

  • 34'

    A reverse pass from Giggs finds Rooney in the box, but his shot is straight at Sommer in the Basel goal.

  • 33'

    Jones is fouled by Cabral... who must be nearing a booking now.

  • 32'

    Young gets a flick-on to Rooney's cross but his effort drops over the bar.

  • 31'

    Rio makes an important tackle on Shaqiri as he attempts to break. Basel slow the it down now... they llok like thay are going to try and hold on for one hour.

  • 30'

    United play the ball around the back four.

  • 29'

    Amazing that. Rooney was stood there ready to tap the ball in, mis-timed his shot and the ball just hit him.

  • 28'

    Nani whips in a teasing cross. Rooney temporarily can't control his feet and fails to score from eight yards out. That should have been a goal.

  • 27'

    United are struggling to break through because their crosses from out wide are always headed clear and they can't get through a packed central defence either.

  • 26'

    Ferdinand heads clear a Xhaka cross, who then trips Nani and gets booked.

  • 25'

    Nani combines with Rooney, who slides a pass out wide to Young. His cross is blocked at the near post.

  • 24'

    United keep pressing but still no way through as yet.

  • 23'

    Sommer miscues a kick. It goes straight to Nani, who decides to shoot from 35-yards rather than pass to an unmarked Young on the edge of the box. Greedy.

  • 22'

    De Gea's kick is poor and Evra fouls Strella as he wins the ball back. Well I say foul, Strella just fell over, but he got the freekick.

  • 21'

    Nani and Rooney combine on the edge of the box. Rooney's return ball is cut out by Abraham, who is having a great game.

  • 20'

    Basel goalkeeper plucks a Smalling cross out of the air in a way that De Gea can only dream about.

  • 19'

    Nani is forced back from the edge of the box into his own half. The Basel fans cheer their team's effort.

  • 18'

    Jones clips the ball into the box for Rooney, but Abraham heads clear. The Basel defence holding firm.

  • 17'

    Basel are happy to play on the counter-attack. When United have the ball they have few options against a massed defence, but when Basel break they look dangerous.

  • 16'

    Shaqiri beats Evra far too easily. United's defence has more holes than Swiss cheese at the moment.

  • 15'

    Giggs takes the corner, so it goes without saying it's a poor one.

  • 14'

    Evra plays a lovely ball down the line for Young, who wins a corner. Young takes and Xhaka heads behind for another corner.

  • 13'

    Xhaka makes a two-footed challnege on Park but gets away with just a word from the referee.

  • 12'

    Nani shoots from 25-yards but his effort is too high and goes over the bar.

  • 11'

    Smalling is back on. Giggs is on the attack but he tries to be too clever after beating his man and Basel clear.

  • 10'

    Smalling looks like he might have to go off the pitch as the problems mount for United.

  • 9'

    Shaqiri whippped in a cross that De Gea only half dealt with and Streller smashed the ball home. Smalling was down injured throughout the move for United.

  • 8'

    GOAL Good spell of possession for Basel. The ball comes in form the right and Streller scores.

  • 7'

    Park cuts in from the right and finds Giggs, who attempts one of his lofted passes over the defence but gets it all wrong.

  • 6'

    Shaqiri has license to roam for Basel. His cross is punched clear by De Gea, who catches the ball when a second cross comes in.

  • 5'

    Dragovic shanks a Nani cross clear.

  • 4'

    Basel can't keep the ball as United throw men forward. A cross from Young is cut out by Abraham.

  • 3'

    Jones is marauding forward. Giggs slips the ball through to Park, who hits a shot on the turn that dips over the bar.

  • 2'

    Slick start from United, who are already on the front foot.

  • 1'

    Ashley Young has started out wide so it looks like Rooney is up front on his own, with Park just behind.

  • 1'

    United get the game underway, kicking from left to right, wearing their black and white away strip.


    Stat attack: England has always had at least three clubs in the Champions League last 16 since it was introduced in 2003-04.


    The teams are in the tunnel and United captain Vidic certainly looks like he means business. Out they come onto the pitch...


    Former Man United skipper Roy Keane, standing pitchside, says he thinks the damp conditions in Basel are "perfect for a top, top game".


    Since Basel drew 3-3 at Old Trafford the Swiss side are unbeaten in ten games, winning nine of them.


    Rooney managed to perform at St Jakob Park when he was going through some off pitch issues in his private life to score for England in a vital qualifier against Switzerland in September last year. Sir Alex will want a similar sort of reaction tonight.


    Wayne Rooney will plead his case with UEFA as he tries to get a three-match ban reduced tomorrow, but tonight he must be fully focused.


    Rio and Vidic are back together in the centre of defence to give United a solid look, but it is pouring down at St Jakob Park and that could spell disaster for goalkeeper De Gea.


    Alexander Frei, who scored two goals against United at Old Trafford and has 25 goals in the Swiss league this season, will carry the threat once again for Basel.


    It would appear Ashley Young has been paired up front with Rooney and Ryan Giggs will be a creative force in central midfield.


    The Manchester United team is in: De Gea; Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra; Park, Jones, Giggs, Nani; Rooney, Young


    What are the permutations? Dale Johnson has all the answers for you...


    Sir Alex's side have not made it easy for themselves.


    Join us at 1945 GMT to see if Manchester United can seal their place in the next round of the UCL by getting a point at FC Basel.