Sir Alex Ferguson
Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson

In what was one of the most bizarre UEFA Champions League games ever played at Old Trafford, Manchester United contrived to throw their match day two game away against Basel when it seemed they had all but secured a comfortable victory of the Swiss champions.

Manchester United worked hard in the first half to mount a two goal lead with a quick fire double from Danny Welbeck and with Ryan Giggs, Ashley Young and Anderson supporting the young Manchester United forward well, United fans would have expected an avalanche of goals. However, that was not to be the case. In the first half, although United were on top, Basel created a hat full of chances and could easily have been level going into the break.

Manchester United fans would have hoped that Sir Alex Ferguson would have got through to his players that their sloppiness could cost them against a team that was gaining in confidence despite being 2-0 down at Old Trafford. A shocking first fifteen minutes of the second half for Manchester United saw Fabian Frei put the visitors back in the game. Basel captain Streller headed on a corner and when the ball reached Frei 12 yards out he cracked in a blissful volley off the upright. It was then up to Fabian Frei to turn provider, crossing for Alex Frei to leave de Gea grasping thin air as the header soared into the net to equalise.

Sir Alex Ferguson threw Nani on in a bid to get United ticking again but the players first contribution was as sloppy as his team mates. Nani' gave the ball away and Basle surged forward. United's failure to clear their lines cost them dear as Streller burst into the box and Valencia brought him down. Alex Frei made no mistake from the spot, blasting it high past De Gea and Old Trafford was stunned into silence.

Ferguson then had to gamble, throwing on Dimitar Berbatov and Manchester United peppered the Basle box for the last ten minutes. The Stretford End were praying that United could save a point and they managed it when Nani's excellent cross was powerfully headed into the bottom of the corner. Danny Welbeck and Dimitar Berbatov had chances in stoppage time to win the game for United but wasted good opportunities, with most United fans having to accept that their sides defensive failings may cost them later in the competition.