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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Manchester United Vs. FC Basel Match Report Result

Two quick-fire braces in either half – United's in the first, Basel's in the second – lit up an entertaining encounter at Old Trafford that swung both ways before eventually ending even thanks to a 90th-minute Ashley Young equaliser.
When Danny Welbeck sent United 2-0 up after just 17 minutes, United looked to be cruising. But as Basel stayed true to their footballing principles, attacked in numbers and pressed the Reds high up the pitch, they created chances and, with 14 minutes to play, had taken three of them.

That sent United in search of a late equaliser and, in the 90th minute, Young arrived at the far post to head home substitute Nani's cross and rescue a valuable point.

Sir Alex was visibly relieved to have snatched a draw at the final whistle, and yet the Reds had been two goals to the good with barely a quarter-of-an-hour on the clock. That said, the warning signs had been there. Basel even fashioned the first chance of the game. Midfielder Fabian Frei found space beyond Rio Ferdinand and Phil Jones but blazed over from 18 yards when clean through after only five minutes.

Young then provided Antonio Valencia with a gift as inviting as a box of Swiss chocolates when he twisted and turned on the left flank before curling a sumptuous ball to the back post. The Ecuadorian's header, from all of two yards, flashed agonisingly across the face of goal.

Basel custodian Yann Sommer then did well to hold Young's firm volley, hit into the ground, before Welbeck netted the first of his double on 16 minutes. It wasn't the prettiest goal Welbeck, or United, will score this season. But they all count and Danny's scuffed shot from 12 yards, which appeared to dribble goalwards in slow-motion before spinning in off the post, was just reward for a bright start.

A minute later it was 2-0. Giggs, who'd calmly laid the ball back to Welbeck for the opener, provided a rather more incisive pass this time. Collecting the ball in the inside left channel about 30 yards from goal, the Welshman advanced briefly before looking up and picking out Welbeck with a low cross that succeeded in cutting out two Basel defenders and leaving Danny with a simple side-footed finish at the back post. Basel boss Thorsten Fink will have been furious with the defending, but Giggs, in his 750th United start, showed his worth once more on the European stage.

To their credit, Basel kept plugging away and both Alexander Frei and Jacques Zoua wasted presentable chances to reduce the deficit before the interval. Neither manager made changes at half-time and both sides flew out of the traps. Young had the ball in the net after a matter of minutes but was correctly ruled offside, while Phil Jones and then David De Gea had to be at their sharpest to repel big Basel forward Marco Streller.

De Gea's denial – an instinctive save from close range with an outstretched leg – was most impressive and further showcased the supreme shot-stopping ability the Spaniard has displayed in recent weeks.

There was little he could do about Basel's opener, though. Indeed, the stopper made a smart save to get down to Streller's near-post header from a corner on the right wing. But when the ball bounced out to Fabian Frei the 22-year-old lashed it home from 12 yards to send the travelling fans wild.

They were cheering again two minutes later when Basel's other Frei, Alexander, found himself unmarked in the penalty area and with plenty of time to calmly nod Fabian's curling centre back across goal and into the net.

Suddenly Basel were level. In truth, they had never really looked beaten, even at 2-0 down. The Swiss side had played without fear – a rare trait in visiting teams at Old Trafford – and they were rewarded yet further on 75 minutes when referee Paolo Tagliavento pointed to the spot after Valencia tangled clumsily with Streller. Alexander Frei stepped up and buried the kick to send Basel in front, but this is Manchester United and drama lurks around every corner.

True enough, after probing and prodding for what seemed an age, the Reds broke through, Ashley Young heading in at the far post with only seconds of normal time to spare. United had earned a dramatic point.

Manchester United Vs. FC Basel Highlights Video Clips

Manchester United [3-3] FC Basel
Danny Welbeck (16') Fabian Frei (58')
Danny Welbeck (17') Alexander Frei (60')
Ashley Young (90') Alexander Frei (pen 76')

1-0 Danny Welbeck 16'

2-0 Danny Welbeck 17'

2-1 Fabian Frei 58'

2-2 Alexander Frei 60'

2-3 Alexander Frei 76'

3-3 Ashley Cole 90'