Manchester United were made to pay for their wastefulness as Basel clinched a 1-0 victory with a late goal in their Group A clash at St Jakob-Park on Wednesday.
Basel 1 Manchester United 0
- Fellaini header hits the post
- Rojo shot deflected onto the bar
- Lang denied by the woodwork
- Lang bags winner in final minute
Jose Mourinho’s side enjoyed the better chances before the interval and hit the woodwork twice, but the RotBlau piled on the pressure in the second half and got their reward at the death.
United dominated the first half and had a handful of good chances to open the scoring, but they went into the break still deadlocked at 0-0.
Romelu Lukaku was presented with the first opportunity on 12 minutes from Paul Pogba’s exquisite through-ball, but Tomas Vaclik was quickly off his line to make the save.
The danger wasn’t over yet, however, as Marouane Fellaini got on the end of Daley Blind’s cross seconds later, but Manuel Akanji raced back to clear his header off the line.
Fellaini should have hit the target on 16 minutes when he met Blind’s free-kick on the right, although the Belgian’s header went the wrong side of the near post.
Pogba was wasteful with a 32nd-minute free-kick that he curled wide from 21 yards out, while Dimitri Oberlin chose the wrong option when he blasted a set-piece way over from long range on 41 minutes.
— Manchester United (@ManUtd) November 22, 2017
The visitors finished the half strongly as Fellaini clipped the outside of the right post with a header from Anthony Martial’s cross on the left, before the French forward raced away down the left flank and forced Vaclik into a save at close range from a tight angle.
Marcos Rojo then saw his powerful strike from distance deflected onto the crossbar off Marek Suchy’s head in stoppage time.
The Red Devils threatened early in the second half when Lukaku steered a header over from eight yards out after being picked out by Martial’s cross on the left in the 47th minute.
But Raphael Wicky’s men went on to enjoy a sustained spell of pressure as Serey Die flashed a shot wide of the right post from 20 yards out on the right three minutes later, while Mohamed Elyounoussi cut in from the left and hit a long-range effort down Sergio Romero’s throat on 54 minutes.
Renato Steffen was looking lively for the hosts after the break and he forced Romero into two saves with strikes from outside the box, before flashing an effort narrowly past the left post after cutting back onto his left foot on the right in the 63rd minute.
Michael Lang then hit the bar with a header at the back post from a deep cross on the left four minutes later, as United continued to be pegged back.
Substitute Marcus Rashford looked to take matters into his own hands on 73 minutes when he advanced into the box on the left and fired a low shot into the side-netting, although FCB were on the attack again four minutes later as Die’s fierce from outside the area was parried away by Romero.
Lukaku’s knockdown header presented a late chance for substitute Zlatan Ibrahimovic on 88 minutes, but his shot was sliced wide of the right post.
But Basel snatched victory moments later as Raoul Petretta found space on the left for a cross that was tucked home at the back post by Lang.