BASEL, SWITZERLAND - DECEMBER 07: Wayne Rooney of Manchester United walks dejected after Basel scored their second goal during the UEFA Champions League Group C match between FC Basel 1893 and Manchester United at St. Jakob-Park on December 7, 2011 in Basel, Switzerland. (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)

FC Basel Vs. Manchester United, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Red Devils Out, Basel Through

FC Basel stunned the football world on Wednesday with a spectacular performance to get themselves into the UEFA Champions League knockout stages and kick Manchester United out.

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8 Total Updates since December 7, 2011
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For Once, Alex Ferguson Couldn't Make Manchester United Look Like More Than They Are

Manchester United went crashing out of the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, but it was only surprising because of Alex Ferguson's track record. The Red Devils have shown signs of mediocrity all season.

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Manchester United Are Out, Manchester City Are Out And The Champions League Group Stages Are Not Rubbish

Manchester's finest paid the price for an inability to move with the times as the Champions League Group Stages become a more competitive place.

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FC Basel Vs. Manchester United, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Full Time, Red Devils Out Of Champions League As Basel Win

Manchester United is out of the UEFA Champions League, thanks to a fantastic performance by FC Basel at home in Switzerland. There was plenty of late drama, with United pushing hard for an equalizer, but Basel held on to record a massive 2-1 victory to get themselves into the knockout stages of the competition.

It took just eight minutes for Basel to take the lead through Marco Streller. Xherdan Shaqiri, almost certainly the man of the match, made the chance with a cross into the box. David De Gea deflected the ball away with a kick, but it fell right to Streller, who hit a fantastic volley into the back of the net.

United looked slow and lacking in ambition for a few minutes afterwards, but really picked up the pace in the 30th minute. For the final 15 minutes of the first half, it appeared that an equalizer was inevitable, but it never came. Wayne Rooney missed four different shooting opportunities, while Nani's tricks down the wing never resulted in any real clear-cut goal scoring chances. Just before the halftime whistle blew, Nemanja Vidic went down with an injury and Johnny Evans came on.

The Red Devils came out guns blazing in the second half, with Rooney missing another golden opportunity in the 49th minute. Basel almost gave up the equalizer in disastrous fashion in the 60th minute, when Markus Steinhöfer powered a clearance off his own crossbar. Basel regularly had 10 of their 11 players in the penalty area in the second half, occasionally breaking out to counter-attack.

Their second goal came on the counter in the 84th minute, and it was once again Shaqiri who provided the setup. From the right wing, he cut onto his favored left foot and hit an in-swinging cross towards the six-yard area. Marco Streller appeared to get a slight touch on the ball with his head, but it was Alexander Frei who provided the finish with a header at the back post to make it 2-0.

It felt like Basel had it sealed up at that point, but United got one back in bizarre fashion. After substitute Federico Macheda smacked the crossbar, Phil Jones put a goal just over the line on a follow-up header in the 89th minute, with Yann Sommer just barely failing to stop the ball from crossing the line.

The referee gave three minutes of stoppage time in which United pushed everyone forward, but they were unable to find the equalizer that they needed to qualify for the knockout stages. The final whistle blew with the scoreboard reading 2-1 to Basel, and the Red Devils will be going to the Europa League. Basel have become the first team from Switzerland to qualify for the UEFA Champions League knockout stages and will join Benfica in qualifying from Group C.

Check out Manchester United blog The Busby Babe for more on the Red Devils. We'll have coverage of all of the UEFA Champions League matches at SB Nation Soccer.

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FC Basel Vs. Manchester United, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Halftime Score, Red Devils Down 1-0 And On Verge Of Elimination

FC Basel lead Manchester United by a score of 1-0 at halftime, meaning that the Red Devils are on the verge of crashing out of the UEFA Champions League. If this result holds, they'll be heading down to the Europa League with a third place finish in the group. The goal was hardly against the run of play and it would be unfair to say it was anything but deserved. United's defending has been shaky and they've been slow going forward.

Marco Streller was the goal scorer, netting a stellar volley from 10 yards out in the 8th minute. With United's central defenders completely out of order, Xherdan Shaqiri put a cross into the box that was kicked away by David De Gea. Unfortunately for him, he kicked the ball right to Streller, who finished with a calm and collected striker to give his team the lead.

United picked up the pace in the final 15 minutes of the half and seriously searched for an equalizer, with Nani and Wayne Rooney running through multiple defenders on their own on a few occasions. Rooney also had some shooting opportunities, but failed to convert on three separate occasions. The equalizer felt inevitable from the 30th minute on, but Basel did enough to go into halftime with a lead.

Just before the end of the half, United defender Nemanja Vidic was forced off with an injury. It was some sort of leg injury, and it was bad enough that he was not able to leave the pitch under his own power. He was replaced by Johnny Evans.

Shaqiri has been the man of the match thus far, and it seems incredible watching this match that Basel managed to draw United without him. Not only did he provide the cross that set up the goal, but he's been the only Basel player able to keep possession. They've been booting the ball out of the back desperately at times, and they only reason they don't give the ball back instantly is Shaqiri's ability to keep the ball.

Check out Manchester United blog The Busby Babe for more on the Red Devils. We'll have coverage of all of the UEFA Champions League matches at SB Nation Soccer.

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Nemanja Vidic Injury: Manchester United Defender Stretchered Off Against FC Basel

Manchester United went one goal down early against FC Basel in their crucial UEFA Champions League match, and they're going to have to come back without their best central defender. Nemanja Vidic was carried off the pitch via a stretcher in the 43rd minute and instantly replaced by Johnny Evans. 

The injury was caused in an innocent collision with striker and goal-scorer Marco Streller, who fell awkwardly on Vidic's leg after an aerial challenge. It was obvious almost instantly that Vidic would not be able to continue and that he would require assistance to get off the pitch. It wasn't clear exactly what Vidic's lower body injury was or the severity of the injury, but it was serious enough that he was not able to leave the pitch under his own power.

Check out Manchester United blog The Busby Babe for more on the Red Devils. We'll have coverage of all of the UEFA Champions League matches at SB Nation Soccer.

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FC Basel Vs. Manchester United, 2011 UEFA Champions League: Lineups

Manchester United were expected to win their UEFA Champions League group with relative ease, but have gotten themselves into a situation where they need a result away to FC Basel on the final day to qualify. Only Benfica is already through, with these two sides fighting for the final place. Basel needs a win to go through, while United only needs a draw.

FC Basel lineup (4-4-1-1): Yann Sommer; Park Joo-Ho, Aleksandar Drgovic, David Angel Abraham, Markus Steinhofer; Fabian Frei, Granit Xhaka, Cabral, Xherdan Shaqiri; Alexander Frei; Marco Streller.

Substitutes: Scott Chipperfield, Massimo Colomba, Radoslav Kovac, Valentin Stocker, Jacques Zoua, Kwang Ryong Pak, Genseric Kusunga.

Manchester United lineup (4-4-1-1): David de Gea; Patrice Evra, Rio Ferdinand, Nemanja Vidic, Chris Smalling; Nani, Ryan Giggs, Phil Jones, Park Ji-Sung; Ashley Young; Wayne Rooney.

Substitutes: Darren Fletcher, Antonio Valencia, Darron Gibson, Anders Lindegaard, Johnny Evans, Danny Welbeck, Federico Macheda.

Kickoff is at 2:45 pm ET, 7:45 pm GMT and 8:45 pm local time. You can catch the game on FOX Soccer Channel in the USA.

Check out Manchester United blog The Busby Babe for more on the Red Devils. We'll have coverage of all of the UEFA Champions League matches at SB Nation Soccer.

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Alex Ferguson Shows His Influence... But Can't Escape Criticism

United's new solidity shows Ferguson's influence - but his own short-sightedness has also hindered them this season.

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FC Basel Vs. Manchester United, 2011 UEFA Champions League Matchday 6 Preview: United Squad Thin Up Top

Manchester United must get a draw or win away to FC Basel to secure a spot in the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League.

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