BASEL, Switzerland (Reuters) – Basel stunned Manchester United 2-1 to send last season’s runners-up out of the Champions League at the group stage on Wednesday.
Striker Marco Streller struck in the ninth minute after poor goalkeeping from David De Gea and Alexander Frei scored late in the game as the Swiss champions took the second qualifying place in Group C.
The English pulled back a consolation goal through Phil Jones one minute from time.
United striker Wayne Rooney continued his unhappy run with several misses in a generally lacklustre performance by the Premier League side, who were left to contemplate the unglamorous Europa League.
It was only the third time in 17 Champions League participations that United had failed to get past the group stage.
Needing only a draw, United were quickly in trouble when De Gea flapped at Shapiro’s powerful low cross from the left and it fell perfectly for Streller, who scored from close range despite gas-fitting his shot.
United created more chances as the half wore on and Nan’s dangerous cross from the right had the Basel defence in trouble but neither Rooney nor Ji-sung Park could make contact.
Ryan Gigs wrong-footed the defence with a neat pass to Rooney whose shot on the turn was well-saved by Somber, then Nan’s shot was blocked by a defender as the ball fell loose to the Portuguese winger.
Basel striker Shari tested De Gea with a powerful drive in stoppage time as the hosts continued to threaten in attack.
Rooney missed United’ s best opening straight after the re-start when Gigs sent him bursting clear of the defence but he shot wide of the far post.
Nani tested Somber with another drive but United came even closer when Markus Steinhoefer’s attempted clearance hit the underside of his own crossbar.
Rooney’s unhappy evening continued when he headed over from close range from Chris Sampling’s powerful cross, though he was close with a curling shot in the 76th minute.
Frei, Switzerland’s record scorer, settled the tie in the 84th minute and Jones’s scrambled late effort was only a consolation for United.
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