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Basel 2 United 1

Our worst fears were realized in Switzerland last night when United crashed out of the Champions League.

There`ll be no mote, this season, fantastic European nights at Old Trafford, just trashy Europa League nights which will do little to warrant any real enthusiasm from the support.

Not even the fact that Manchester City also dropped out of the Champions League can soften this bitter blow. From finalists to chumps in a few short months!

Team News - Sir Alex, without the services of Anderson, Carrick, Cleverley, Owen and Hernandez chose to be cautious in his approach only picking Rooney up front but packing the midfield with a five aimed at stopping Basel scoring. Surprisingly, Fletcher was only on the bench.

United - De Gea, Smalling, Vidic, Ferdinand, Evra, Park, Giggs, Jones, Young, Rooney, Nani

Subs - Lindegaard, Evans, Welbeck, Fletcher, Valencia, Macheda, Gibson

First Half - United got the action underway in an atmospheric arena and created the first wave of excitement when Park turned into the area and hooked a shot wide. Basel, attacking, took encouragement from a De Gea push away that wasn`t that convincing and were to go ahead soon after.

A cross came in from our right flank and De Gea tried to clear it with his feet but the ball fell invitingly for Streller to slot home. United may have pointed towards the stricken Smalling, who had caught an elbow form Vidic, as a reason to stop play, but the referee was having none of it.

Basel 1 United 0 (Streller - 9 minutes)

United responded well to going behind, Nani fired over from twenty-five yards and two corners, forced in quick succession; kept the pressure up. A poor clearance for the Basel keeper, Sommer, saw Nani fire wide.

Basel though were looking dangerous and Ferdinand was forced to clear a dangerous looking cross from Shaqiri. United responded with an effort from Nani that saw him dance through two defenders but the cross was too deep, that cross followed one moments earlier that saw Rooney and Park just unable to get that crucial touch that would have put United level.

Giggs played a great reverse pass that was picked up by Rooney but the keeper saved his shot. The Basel goal looked to be leading a charmed life. As half time approached Vidic picked up a knee injury that saw him substituted and Evans introduced. In the three minutes of stoppage time De Gea saved well from Shaqiri but United had it all to do in the second half.

Half Time - Basel 1 United 0

Second Half - United, knowing they had to get back on level terms, started the second half well. Giggs split the Basel defence with a fantastic ball but Rooney`s effort was just wide/ Sommer, having a decent game, saved well when Nani unleashed a shot from twenty-five yards out.

Basel weren`t sitting back either and when Stroller found Shaqiri his shot went wide. De Gea, trying t make up for his first half error, did well to tip a free kick from Frei over the bar and then, from a corner saved a header from Dragovic.

United forced two corners in quick succession but couldn`t breach the Basel rearguard but the home side had a remarkable escape, just past the hour mark when Steinhofer volley, acrobatically, against the underside of his own bar.

Sir Alex shuffled his pack introducing Welbeck for Young, who looked to be carrying some sort of injury.

United now had a hint of desperation about their play and Rooney saw an effort, from long range, go wide before, with nine minutes of normal time Sir Alex used his last throw of the dice by bringing on Macheda for Park.

Sadly, three minutes later, it was all but over when Basel doubled their lead. Shaqiri, a thorn in our side all night, delivered a cross deep into the box, Smalling lost his man and Alex Frei netted at the far post.

Basel 2 United 0 (Frei - 84 minutes)

With six minutes to go United mounted some kind of fight back but even though Jones reduced the arrears, tapping home through a sea of legs after a Macheda effort had hit the bar.

Basel 2 United 1 (Jones - 89 minutes)

Three minutes of stoppage time saw a lot of huffing and puffing but it wasn`t to be and United crashed out of Europe`s Premier competition.



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The Journalist

Writer: Red Boy Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Thursday December 8 2011

Time: 4:47PM

Your Comments

Too many underperformers and an odd team selection and tactical choice cost us. I think Fergie got caught in two minds as to whether he wanted to go out and draw the game or whether he wanted to go out and draw and it was evident through the way the players played. Playing Rooney as the main striker takes away so many qualities of his game, his passing ability, vision energy and power is instantly wasted playing him up top on his own. When we have Welbeck and even possibly Macheda on the bench it seems non-sensical to play him up top on his own when his become so accustomed to playing as a CF just behind a main ST. Playing Park at CM was also a terrible move, the man has been out of form all season and those hard-working efforts we've come to expect have been non-existant, he looked lost against Crystal Palace so what Fergie was expecting him to do against much stronger opposition in Basel I don't know. Giggsy's age shone through this game, he can be influential but only for small periods at a time, he hasn't got the legs to cope with a full high-intensity 90 mins, he would've been better suited to being an impact sub. Young just didn't get any service whatsoever and as a result was non-existant the entire game. We were 1-0 down and Vidic got injured, I personally would've dropped Jones into the CB position and brought on someone to add more life, energy and threat to the attack like Valencia or Welbeck, not bring on another CB, especially if it's Evans. I didn't get why Valencia was left on the bench the entire night, I would've had him on over Macheda. Macheda can provide those moments of inspiration as we've seen before but it was asking too much of the lad to come on with 10 minutes left and expect him to do something with no service. Nani was superb yet we didn't utilise him enough, he was evidently on one yet during the 2nd half we never gave him the ball. De Gea after some great performances recently didn't take command of a couple of situations and his performance was nicely summarised by his distribution of the ball, peculiarly poor. Smalling, normally solid and reliable, had an off game. Evra had one of those games where he just disappeared, he really does need Vidic beside him. Jones done well in the anchor man role, he never really lost the ball when it was in his possession and also got a goal. It was another one of those nights, something that's becoming all too frequent lately. Fergie needs to get the team motivated as there's too many lacklustre performances coming in and also strengthen the midfield, not a Sneijder though!! It just seems ridiculous to pay 35 mil for a 27 year old who will have 3-5 years at the top, assuming he settles, before going into a decline.
TheFamousNo7
Rudolph didn't get the early Xmas pressie he was expecting
tINY t
sorry manure
blueblack
 

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