PARIS: English Premier League superpowers Manchester United and Manchester City crashed out of the Champions League on Wednesday. United, the European champions in 1968, 1999 and 2008, slumped to a shock 2-1 defeat at Basel, allowing the Swiss champions to go through from Group C with Benfica.
Man Utd's Wayne Rooney
City defeated Group A winners Bayern Munich 2-0 but lost out on a last 16 spot when Napoli saw off pointless Villarreal 2-0 in Spain. It was only the third time in 16 years that Alex Ferguson's United had crashed at the group phase with Wednesday's shocker coming six years to the day since they last bade farewell at the first round, following a 2-1 loss at Benfica.
Man City's Sergio Aguero (right) during their respective Champions
League matches against FC Basel and Bayern Munich yesterday.
While Utd lost 1-2, City won 2-0. Pics/AFP
Despite needing just a point to go through, last year's beaten finalists were undone by goals in each half from Marco Streller and Alexander Frei which condemned Ferguson's side to their first away defeat in the opening round in five years.
Phil Jones' late goal gave them a glimmer of hope but Basel soaked up waves of United pressure -- and rode their luck -- to book their place in the last 16 for the first time since 2002-03. For United get the unwelcome consolation of the Europa League. "Of course we're disappointed, there's no other way you can feel. It's part of football. You have to deal with the disappointment, and this club has used it as motivation many times," said Ferguson.
Basel coach Heiko Vogel, who only took over from Thorsten Fink in October, was overjoyed. "It's a sensation, yes, because it's not every day you beat Manchester United," he said. Meanwhile, City also exited the tournament despite David Silva and Yaya Toure giving them a 2-0 win over a Bayern Munich. EPL leaders City went into the match knowing the only way they could progress was to beat Bayern, who had already finished top of Group A, and for Napoli to lose to Villarreal. However, Napoli's 2-0 victory sent Roberto Mancini's team to the Europa League.
Villarreal 0-2 Napoli
Lille 0-0 Trabzonspor
Inter Milan 1-2 CSKA Moscow
Benfica 1-0 Otelul Galati
Dinamo Zagreb 1-7 Lyon
Ajax 0-3 Real Madrid