Match - Tue 27 September, 20:45, Old Trafford
|0. (16’)||20. (58’)|
|0. (17’)||13. (60’)|
|0. (89’)||13. (76’)|
Young saves United
Manchester United's Danny Welbeck celebrates scoring his side's second goal with Michael Carrick (behind)
It was a rather nervy start to the match by United as Basel settled quickly and begun brightly.
In fact it was Basel who had the first shot on goal six minutes into the match. The attempt on goal was set-up by a swift passing movement as Marco Streller played a nice ball for Alexander Frei to latch onto, but he fired over the crossbar from the edge of the box.
Nonetheless, despite the slow start to the game by the home side they soon found their range and began to switch the play from side to side, creating numerous problems for the Basel defence.
In the ninth minute, an attacking run by Ashley Young down the left flank saw United create their first chance on goal when he cut back in field and delivered a pin point cross to find Valencia at the back post, but his header from a couple yards out sailed wide.
With that attempt on goal the Red Devils confidence really grew and they began applying a mountain of pressure on the Basel goal. It was only a matter of time before Sir Alex Ferguson’s men broke the deadlock.
The goal did eventually come in the 16th minute when Valencia set Fabio down the right flank with an exquisite pass. The right-back then cut the ball across the 18-yard area to find an unmarked Ryan Giggs. The Welshman unselfishly laid the ball off for Welback on the penalty spot who, despite scuffing his shot, found the bottom left-hand corner, 1-0.
And then, only a minute later, Welback doubled his side’s lead with his second goal of the game. This time a great defence splitting pass from Giggs saw Welback behind the Basel defence and he made no mistake rifling the ball home with a stinging shot, 2-0.
Nonetheless, although they were two goals behind, Basel were not out of the game and created a fair few chances of their own after going behind.
In the 24th minute some good link-up play from the Swiss team saw Alexander Frei with another great opportunity to pull one back, but he fired wide from 12-yards out.
The half still ended with United the superior of the two teams and only the brilliance of Yann Sommer in the Basel goal kept his side two goals behind three minutes before the half time break.
Patrice Evra drove down the left flank and his low ball across the face of goal was met by Valencia at the back post, but his close range shot was superbly saved by Sommer, using his feet to block the two-yard shot.
The start of the second 45 saw Basel looking the better of the two teams and United looked to go to sleep at the back which allowed the Swiss Champions to get back into the game, themselves scoring two goals in a matter of two minutes.
First, in the 58th minute, a goal mouth scramble resulted in Basel’s first goal after United failed to clear the ball at a corner. This allowed Fabian Frei to pounce on the loose ball with a powerfully driven half-volley from 16-yards out that rebounded off the side of the left-hand post and into the goal, 2-1.
Two minutes later and Alexander Frei found the equaliser after a perfectly executed counter-attack. Fabian Frei broke down the right flank and supplied the perfect cross to find Alexander Frei inside the box and he made no mistake with a perfect header to beat David De Gea, 2-2.
Then in the 75th minute the game was turned on its head when the referee awarded a penalty-kick to Basel after he adjudged Valencia to have pulled down Streller inside the box.
Alexander Frei steppe-up and coolly slotted the ball home sending the keeper the wrong way 3-2.
With the game looking lost for United, the Red Devils did what they have become synonymous with over the years and found an equaliser in the final minute of the 90.
Nani, after beating a couple defenders down the right wing, produced a good cross into the box which Young met with powerful header at the back post to beat the Basel goalie and equalise the scores, 3-3.
That made for a frantic final couple of minutes, but in the end the two teams shared the spoils and that seemed a fair result on the night.