Following a 2-2 result against Benfica yesterday, Manchester United must now ensure that they are not defeated in Basel on 7th December if they are to remain in the Champions League.
Aimar’s equaliser in the second-half guaranteed Benfica a spot in Group C, but Man Utd must at least draw with FC Basel next Wednesday if they wish to progress. It’s another blow for the clubs ailing Champions League campaign, which could see them facing the unenviable task of being grouped with Barcelona, Real Madrid, Bayern Munich or Internazionale in the next round.
Following the game, in which Phil Jones’ own goal put the opposing team ahead after just 4 minutes, Sir Alex Ferguson said: "It makes it a bit harder, of course. But maybe the bigger game would suit us anyway.” If United were to win against FC Basel it is likely that they will still only achieve second place. "Hopefully, we are in the position of finishing second,” continued Ferguson, “because I don't think Benfica will lose. I am sure they will win that match. The chips are down.”
"The opportunities to play Inter, Barcelona, Real Madrid or Bayern Munich – you have to judge that this way: if you played them in the semi-final or the final, you would be only too delighted, knowing the possibility is to win the trophy. The clubs we will face will know that, too."
United will welcome the return of suspended Nemanja Vidic in time for the game in Basel, although Michael Carrick will not be in the line-up after a one-match suspension. Ferguson previously stated that Wayne Rooney, who was recovering from a hip injury, would be fit for the game against Benfica, but the England International was unable to perform. He should be match-ready in time for Basel.
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