United and City fail to make the last 16

Man United and Man City’s Champions League campaigns come to an end while Lyon go through against all odds.

Basel players celebrate qualification after a surprising victory over Manchester United [GALLO/GETTY] 

Three-time European champions Manchester United went out of the Champions League on Wednesday after a 2-1 loss to FC Basel.

United needed just a draw to advance from their group to the knockout rounds but Basel captain Marco Streller scored in the ninth minute and Alex Frei struck in the 84th.

Despite Phil Jones’s scrambled goal in the 89th, United slumped to only their second group-stage exit since 1996.

“We’re disappointed, there’s no other way you can feel,” United manager Alex Ferguson said.

“It’s a loss because it’s the best tournament in the world.”

Swiss champion Basel, led by novice interim coach Heiko Vogel, join group winners Benfica in the last-16 draw next week.

Champions results

Wednesday December 7

 Ajax 0-3 Real Madrid
 Benfica 1-0 Otelul Galati 
 Din. Zabreb 1-7 Lyon 
 FC Basel 2-1 Man Utd
 Inter 1-2 CSKA Moscow 
 Lille 0-0 Trabzonspor
 Man City 2-0 Bay Munich
 Villarreal 0-2 Napoli

United, a winner and twice runner-up in the past four seasons, finished third in the group. They now has the unwanted honour of playing in the second-tier Europa League next February.

More misery was heaped on manager Alex Ferguson as he lost captain Nemanja Vidic to what appeared a seriously injured right knee.

Ajax went out of the Champions League in dramatic circumstances losing 3-0 to a below-strength Real Madrid in their final Group D match.

Looking to qualify for the knockout stage for the first time since 2005-2006, Ajax went into the match leading Lyon by three points and with a goal difference advantage of seven, but the French side remarkably thrashed Dinamo Zagreb 7-1 to snatch second place.

Lyon fell behind in the 40th minute to 10-man Dinamo, who had midfielder Jerko Leko sent off for a second bookable foul midway through the first half, before striker Batefimbi Gomis scored four goals to lead their charge into the last 16. It was a stunning turn around for the French team who nobody expected to qualify. 

Maxime Gonalons, Lisandro Lopez and Jimmy Briand netted Lyon’s other goals to inflict the heaviest defeat for Dinamo in European competition, leaving the Croatian champions rooted to the bottom of the group with no points from six games.

Win not enough

Manchester City bowed out of the Champions League despite goals from David Silva and Yaya Toure giving them a
2-0 win over Bayern Munich in the teams’ final Group A match.

With City needing victory over the already qualified German side to have any chance of progressing, Silva put the English club ahead in the 37th minute with a stylish low shot from the edge of the area.

Toure doubled the advantage seven minutes after halftime. But Napoli’s 2-0 win at Villarreal put the Italians through to the last 16 at City’s expense.

Trabzonspor were denied a spot in the last 16 in their debut season after a battling 0-0 draw at Group B rivals Lille was rendered redundant by CSKA Moscow winning 2-1 at Inter Milan.

Champions League last 16:

Group Winners
Bayern Munich
Inter Milan
Real Madrid
Apoel Nicosia

Group Runners-up:
CSKA Moscow
FC Basel
Bayer Leverkusen
Zenit St P’sbg
AC Milan

Source : News Agencies

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