If there was any question as to whether this was going to be a disappointing season for Manchester United it was answered on Wednesday as the team lost 2-1 at Basel. The shocking defeat sent United out of the Champions League as they finished third in Group C behind Benfica and Basel.
If there has been anything you can count on in European football through the years it was that Manchester United would dominate and win trophies. Maybe United can still win a trophy this season but they are not going to dominate and there is no guarantee they are going to win anything of note now that they are out of the Champions League.
2-1 Loss at Basel
The defeat to Basel came as a big surprise in sports betting since United just needed a draw to advance to the knockout round of the Champions League. They couldn’t even manage that as they fell behind early and never got the equalising goal. Marco Streller scored in the 9th minute for Basel and United were in a bad position almost from the start. United couldn’t even count on Wayne Rooney to bail them out as he blew one of the best chances to score. Basel got another goal as Alexander Frei scored with eight minutes left and while Phil Jones scored late, it was really meaningless as United needed two goals to tie. United will miss out on the knockout stage of the Champions League for the first time since 2005 and only the third time in 17 tries. Now it will be the disgrace of playing in the Europa League for Manchester United.
There is no question that Manchester United need an influx of new talent. It was thought that United could still compete with Manchester City in the Premier League and with Barcelona in the Champions League but after Wednesday’s inexcusable loss to Basel it is obvious that is not the case. It could be that United won’t even be able to stay with a renewed Chelsea squad under Roman Abramovich. In his long career as manager of Manchester United, Alex Ferguson has always risen to the occasion. It will be interesting to see if he can do it again. This season is basically a lost one for United so now the purpose should be to get enough talent on board for the future so that the team is well positioned to challenge for Premier League and Champions League titles for years to come.