November 28, 2020

Euro misery for Manchester

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Wayne Rooney must now play in the Europa League

The Manchester United manager says he is “disappointed” with his team’s 2-1 defeat in Switzerland against Basel which will see the side demoted to the Europa League.

United finished third in Group C after they crashed out to FC Basel in a 2-1 defeat in one of their unhappiest nights in European competition.

Striker Marco Streller struck in the ninth minute after poor goalkeeping from David De Gea and Alexander Frei scored late in the game as the Swiss champions took the second qualifying place in Group C. Benfica topped the group with Manchester United finishing third.

“Of course we’re disappointed, there’s no other way you can feel,” United manager Ferguson said.

“That’s part of football, anyway, you have to deal with disappointment, to our club it’s been used as a motivation many times, so these young players will feel the disappointment today but, but they’re going to have to cope with it and go on with their careers,” he added.

Ferguson said his side had paid for their poor form in front of goal.

“We expect to get control of the game immediately by possession and they score through their first real attack, a cross into the box comes back in and they’re one-nothing up, so when you’re away from home and you are one-nil down, you have a job to do and the opportunities we had, we didn’t really take them and that was the story of the game.”

Manchester pulled back a consolation goal through Phil Jones one minute from time.

United striker Wayne Rooney continued his unhappy run with several misses in a lacklustre performance by the Premier League side, who are now left facing life in the the less glamorous Europa League.

But some good news for Rooney. His three match England ban due to be served at the start of next year’s Euro Championships has been reduced to just two meaning he will be eligible to play in the final group game.

A victory was not enough for Man City’s Sergio Aguero

There was more Champions League heartache for Manchester City. Despite beating Bayern Munich 2-0 at home, they too were dumped out of the Champions League.

Results elsewhere meant Roberto Mancini’s men will also have to play in the Europa League.

Mancini felt his side would have done enough to progress in less treacherous groups, but recognised they were architects of their own downfall earlier in the group.

“I’m sorry personally for the club and supporters and players because I think they deserve to play Champions League, but we can’t do anything and our life goes on,” said Mancini.

“We need to improve as a squad to play Champions League, so it will be important to improve in the next six months in the Premier League and Europa League, and then next year we can play better. We want to go better next year.

“It was the first time in Champions League and it was difficult, but it is still strange not to go through with ten points so all we can say is congratulations to Naples.

“Usually with ten points the team goes through. Ninety per cent of the time it is enough, but in this group it was not enough.

“Naples deserve to go through because they got one point more than us. We did make mistakes, but usually with ten points you can get through to the second stage.”

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