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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Group C: Man Utd dumped out of competition by Basel

Manchester United have dropped out of the Champions League following tonight's shock 2-1 loss to Swiss champions FC Basel.

Sir Alex Ferguson and his men needed at least a point to progress to the Round of 16 but they could not do the job as Basel forced their way to the knockout phase.

The home side took the lead inside ten minutes when Xherdan Shaqiri drove a low, powerful ball across goal which was deflected away by David de Gea but only as far as Marcos Streller who hit the rebound into the ground to see it head into the back of the net as United defender Chris Smalling lay injured on the ground from a collision just prior.

United's small uphill battle became a mountain late in the match when Alexander Frei headed home Xherdan Shaqiri's cross from the right which somehow found its way to the back post for the striker to net his fifth group stage goal.

There was a late glimmer of hope for United when Phil Jones forced a header over the line after Federico Macheda fired his shot into the crossbar but the Basel defence stood strong to deny last season's runners-up a chance to redeem themselves in Europe's premier club competition.

United were not without their chances as Wayne Rooney completely miscued his 30th minute attempt from Nani's pinpoint cross before the Portuguese was denied by Basel keeper Yann Sommer five minutes later. Their best chance before the late goal came from a Basel player when Markus Steinhofer attempted to clear Nani's swinging cross but somehow managed to cannon the ball into the crossbar.

Nonetheless, United were to be denied a path into the next phase as Basel move on to join Benfica and look ahead to bigger and better things.

Champions League Group C

FC Basel (SUI): 2 (Marco Streller 9', Alexander Frei 85') Manchester United (ENG): 1 (Phil Jones 89') St Jakob-Park, Basel

Yellow cards:BAS - Granit Xhaka 27', Fabian Frei 90' MANU - Ashley Young 45+3', Patrice Evra 87'

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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