Sankt Jakob-Park
Champions League • Group A
  • 2nd Half
  • FC Basel
  • Manchester United
  • Lang
  • Darmian
  • DiéFransson
  • MartialIbrahimovic
  • PogbaMatic
  • LingardRashford

FC Basel - Manchester United

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So, Basel are second in the group on 9 points, the same as CSKA, and will probably still finish top if they lose their final game - their goal difference is four better than Basel's. But they could've done without that second half performance, and have work to do the week after next.


Well played Basel! They got away with it in the first half, in which United missed a variety of presentable chances, but played really well in the second, creating various chances of their own and hanging in there until the end.


Full-time: Basel 1-0 Manchester United


Put a team in pyjamas, they'll play like they want to go to bed.


There'll be three added minutes.


So United will need something in their final game at home to CSKA to top the group. They've been useless in the second half, and I've no doubt that a smacked bottom awaits them in the dressing room.


GOAL! Basel 1-0 Manchester United (Lang) No more than Basel deserve! Steffen moves the ball inside, Zuffi finds Petretta, and his low, measured cross finds Lang at the back post as Bkind sleeps, and he slides home!


A long ball, a flick from Ibrahimovic, a set from Lukaku, and Ibrahimovic clatters high and wide.


Elyounoussi pushes the ball into the space behind Matic, who turns and chases, catching yerman in the coupon. He wants a free-kick, but the ref is having no such thing.


I'm not sure where Ander Herrera is.


Petretta runs at Darmian, who deals with the situation in only the way he knows how; with a foul. He's booked, but United clear the free-kick easily enough.


Marcos Rojo has played really well tonight; perhaps well enough to keep his place for the Brighton game on Saturday.


PSG now lead Celtic 6-1. That'll teach them for taking the lead.


United look like they just want to go home, knocking the ball about as slowly as possible.


Fransson replaces Serey Die.


No he's not; Serey Die is down, and that'll be his night did.


Serey Die, who's been good second half, takes a square pass 30 yards out and flings himself into a rising dirve - it's going in, but Romero has a good view of it and dives high to palm away. Serey Die looks to have hurt himself, but after treatment he's good to go.


Nice interplay between Ibrahmovic and Lukaku, exchanging passes in and around the box, before a slightly overhit dink from the former runs away from the latter.


Ibrahimovic replaces Lukaku, who heads off to the right only to be called back by Herrera. It looks like Ibrahimovic will play in behind, and United could really use his ability to hold the ball up.


Rashford turns up on the left and teases Lang before cutting inside and darting a low shot towards the near post, which scooshes only just wide.


Petretta glides a low pass in for Oberlin, in loads of space! He takes a touch and has a swing ... the contact isn't the best, but the ball looks goalbound ... only for Rojo to slide in brilliantly and block! United are tottering here.


If you're watching BT, you'll appreciate this.


Oh dear! Steffen cuts into the box from the left, dips inside, then nips outside Rojo, searching for his foot and collapsing. The ref sees it and says no penalty, but that was a booking if ever I've seen one.


On the touchline, Mourinho is becoming aggravated with his team, who have been insipid this half.


Miserable from United, Darmian picking out an attacker with room to clear properly; the cross, flicked on by Smalling, puts Blind under pressure, and he gets caught under the ball as Lang shoves him, setting up a chance ... but Lang can only head against the bar!


Fellaini, close to the left by-line, bundles the ball into the box where Lukaku, back to goal, has a half-arsed attempt at an overhead, sending the ball straight up and down.


Another change for United: Matic replaces Pogba, who's been ok tonight, or at least has done some nice stuff. He's been quiet this half though.


Mourinho changes it; he had to. Rashford replaces Lingard.


Basel thrust once more, Oberlin chucking heels at the ball to find Steffen down the left! He cuts inside and at Blind, who backs off, and Steffen curls a low shot only just past the far post! ONly one team in this at the moment!


Now on the left, Zuffi protects the ball as Fellaini ungainlys him to the ground. but there Felllaini is to head the free-kick away, only for Steffen to collect possession outside the box and ram a low shot which kicks off Oberlin, forcing Romero to scramble a save. That's the first time Basel have troubled United's goal.


Zuffi bends his free-kick directly into Blind's brow; corner. It's punched clear by Romero for no reason whatsoever; Fellaini was blocking off the nearest man, so he had time and space to catch.


United have been useless this half, and Steffen attacks Blind, who kicks him over. Free-kick, five yards from the by-line, five yards from the box.


Fellainio turns up on the right-wing and curls in a cross looking for Lukaku, but Vaclik collects easily enough.


Basel are having a go and United are letting them, not putting it in in transition. Serey Die finds Steffen, taking three United players out of the game with one pass; the eventuating shot causes no trouble.


Elyounoussi breaks forward and with Lang outside him, opts to shoot from distance, picking out Romero who clutches easily.


Basel, who, don't forget, need a win to control their own destiny, are looking a little livelier this half.


Basel win a free-kick after Darmian shows a cross his arse and the ball hits him on the hand. The delivery into the middle is good, too, headed away by Fellaini into the path of Serey Die, who punishes a drive just wide.


Another nice cross from Martial, this time picking out Lukaku, who heads wide.


Beautifully put.


But then Steffen turns up on the right and fades a lovely cross into the middle which Smalling misses ... but Darmian does enough to see it away, ahead of Elyounoussi.


Lang gets the ball deep inside the United half and he has Oberlin and Elyounoussi in the middle, but can only hit Blind's shins.


BREAKING: Rio Ferdinand thinks United will win. In fairness, so too do Steven "Steven" Gerrard and Frank Lampard.


Off we go again.


It's not been great, but United have made enough proper chances to win two games. I'd expect them to resolve things in the second half.


Half-time: Basel 0-0 Manchester United


Rojo picks up possession 25 yards out and with no one closing, unleashes a zetz that picks out Suchy's forehead ... manfully, he chucks a brow at it, deflecting the ball against the bar.


Anthony Martial is better running with the ball than almost every other player in the world, and he streaks away at inside-left, two men hanging on. But wider that he'd like, when Vaclik advances, he's forced to try the dinked finish that Lukaku eschewed, clipping the keeper's arm and watching the ball flick behind. Still, very pleasant behaviour.


United ease into life, Martial gliding inside and curving a lovely cross towards the far post, where Fellaini is alone ... och, ye've gottae score ... but he doesn't get enough of it, hairing a header onto the post!


...and Oberlin shmices it whole aeons over the bar.


Pogba fouls Steffen as he runs at the heart of United's defence; free-kick, 30 yards out, right of centre...


No, there's not a whole lot going on here.


Oy gevalt!


United release Darmian down the right in a lovely position and loads of space; naturally, he whams it high past everyone, then Blind volleys it back across ... but behind. Oh, played, lads!


Celtic now trail PSG 3-1; those are the only goals in tonight's games.


Pogba pulls rank, but curls a miserable effort high and wide.


Vaclik tips the corner behind for another, cleared in the first instance before Rojo puts the ball back in and Lingard's cross also ends up behind. He takes the kick himself, and his delivery is flat but poor, but when the ball's cleared, Serey Die flattens Poga; free-kick United, just right of centre, just outside the D. Pogba and Blind both want it...


Fellaini and Lingard pressure Suchy into a wild swipe which sends the ball behind him; Lingard chases, and drills a shot from an acute angle that earns a corner.


Lingard spread to Lukakum down the right and he comes inside then crosses - his crossing is actually pretty decent - and Balanta does well to arrive before Lingard, who was primed to head at goal.


United have quietened after that little flurry of activity, and Lang crosses from the left, forcing Rojo to shank an untidy clearance.


Well that was fun; Neymar has scored again, so PSG lead Brendan Rodgers 2-1.


Zuffi finds space and sends right to Oberlin, who crosses low, but can only pick out Herrera who clears.


Thinking back to that Lukaku chance, he's missed a fair few like that this season, and if he's going to mature into the kind of player that United need - a player of similar quality to Cole, Yorke, Van Nistelrooy, Van Persie - he needs to stop that, or start scoring spectacular goals.


Basel can't get close to United now - they're moving the ball nicely in midfield, and will score presently.


United win a free-kick on the right, swung in dangerously by Blind ... and Fellaini is up on the near side, getting decent contact to send a decent effort just wide of the near post. United are coming.


Southgate was absolutely right, but at his best, Smalling is a much better defender than various of those picked ahead of him. I know who I'd rather have against Brazil of the other option was Harry Maguire.


That's the thing with Lukaku - he goes for power - high percentage finishes - when sometimes, finesse is required.


Lovely ball from Pogba, slipping Lukaku in, and he holds off his man brilliantly, but then takes a touch too many and ends up bashing a finish to the side of Vaclik when he was close enough to block; a Peter Beardsley lift was what was really in order. United maintain the pressure though, and a cross from the left picks out Fellaini, who heads down ... and Akanji does superbly to hook off the line, facing his own goal!


United are knocking the ball about, but slowly, though they are trying to make the pitch as wide as possible with Lingard right on the touchline. A few minutes ago, we saw Anthony Martial right back in his own half looking for the ball.


Ha! Neymar has equalised for PSG; of course he has. Not much going on in Basel.


Lovely thrusting run down the right from Elyounoussi, moving the ball from foot to foot to fox Rojo. But Smalling comes across and bumps it against his shin; goalkick.


In Paris, the excellent Moussa Dembele has given Celtic the lead over PSG. I;m sure the boy Rodgers got the final touch, though.


Lovely flick from Lukaku, but Lingard can't quite ease a pass between two men and into the box.


Lukaku spreads play left to Martial; Balanta does a good job of bustling through a challenge.


Blind struggles to clear when Elyounoussi puts the ball into the box and Lang crosses from the right, but Herrera hooks away. United haven't got out of their own half yet.


I wonder what Blind thinks about losing his place to Ashley Young; not much, I'll wager. One thing I find odd is that he's never used in midfield - he's the nearest United have to Michael Carrick, and the obvious replacement if Nemanja Matic is ever missing.


Lang nashes down the right and Blind sells Romero slightly short with his backpass, but he arrives in time to welly clear.


Oh, super! Owen Hargreaves is co-commentating!


Yalla yalla, away we go!


Paul Pogba is captaining United tonight; I wonder when that'll become a permanent state of affairs. The only reason for it not to be is that he already has enough on his plate, because he is the best and most charismatic player in the squad by miles.


Basel, by the way, are playing a kind of 3-4-2-1, with the two wide behind the young Oberlin.


Here they come; did you know, the pitch has been relaid? Really, someone ought to have said.


My mother-in-law's birthday and all. What does that say, please?


The players are tunnelled and ready to, er, rock.


I said earlier this is close to the United team that I'd have picked; I'd have managed to cope without Matteo Darmian though, who is not good enough to get in ahead of Axel Tuanzebe as far as I can deduce.


Martial needs "an round the shoulder and a bit of cotton wool," Rio Ferdinand's been told by players at United, and also that he's good enough to be the best player on the planet. I agree, and hope Mourinho, who I'm pretty sure would've binned him for Perisic in the summer, lets him get on with it.


Apparently Anthony Martial is "an enigma at times". I'm not sure he knows what "engima" means.


Mourinho says he's made so many changes because he trusts his players, using the example of Sergio Romero, "amazing" last season. He says that he's not expecting an easy game, and both he, with Chelsea, and United have had aggravation in Basel before. He needs to give some players a rest, with a 3pm Saturday game coming up, and some players a chance.


In 2002-03, United kick-started their season at St Jakub's, thanks to an absolute belter of a goal from Ruud van Nistelrooy - they were 1-0-down at the time, and had Liverpool and Arsenal in their next two league games. They won 3-1 on the night, 2-1 at Anfield courtesy of Jerzy Dudek and Diego Forlan, and 2-0 against Arsenal, going on to steal a memorable title.


Of course, United have been to Basel twice before; in 2011, they were knocked out of the competition, but more than that, Nemanja Vidic jiggered his cruciate, without which Aguerooooooo would probably never have happened.


From earlier...


Top, top arriving that, I'm sure you'll agree.


Jesse Lingard is not someone especially appreciated outside of Old Trafford, nor by many supporters inside. But the fact remains that Paul Scholes, Alex Ferguson, Louis van Gaal and Jose Mourinho all consider him useful. And he is: he makes things happen, stretches defences, isn't scared, and has a good partnership with Rashford. He also has a nice line in spectacular goals. Here's a piece on that from last season.


As someone with skin in this game, this is pretty close to what I was hoping for from Jose Mourinho. Nemanja Matic plays every minute of every important game and United have no alternative to him, so he should absolutely be rested tonight; Marcos Rojo would be in my first XI alongside Eric Bailly, so it's good to see him back; as explosive a player as Marcus Rashford should be rested whenever possible; but I'm always wary when Anthony Martial is picked for a less important fixture, wondering if it's in preparation for his being omitted from a more important fixture.


And United...


Basel are generous enough to arrange theirs by formation...




Evening all, and welcome to Manchester United's penultimate game in Group A for Abject. A point tonight will secure top spot in the group, unless CSKA beat Benfica and then wallop them at Old Trafford the week after next ;basically, it's not going to happen. Basel, though, want the points - if they can win, they've a decent chance of nabbing second place ahead of the aforementioned Muscovites.