Manchester United travel to the Swiss capital on Wednesday evening for their opening Champions League match against BSC Young Boys, but José Mourinho’s men will hoping for a better result than the last time they played a match in Switzerland.
In November last year United had a Champions League encounter against Basel and after beating the 2017 Swiss League champions 3-0 at Old Trafford, the Red Devils would’ve fancied their chances of picking up points to go through the group stage with a perfect record.
But Mourinho’s side only had themselves to blame when the 90 minutes was over, losing 1-0 thanks to a second half goal by Basel defender Michael Lang. Despite having close to 70% of the possession throughout the match, United failed to get the ball in the back of the net as poor finishing let the side down in what could and should have been a comfortable win.
Paul Pogba captained the side that night and United were quick out of the blocks with centre-forward Romelu Lukaku and wingers Anthony Martial and Jesse Lingard applying loads of pressure on the Basel defenders.
Midfielder Marouane Fellaini squandered three golden opportunities before half time with accuracy letting him down and one headed chance deflecting off the post. Marcos Rojo also had a powerful long range effort bounce back off the bar.
In the second half, however, Basel started to up the ante and got their rhythm going with some slick interplay, piling the pressure back on United. Basel would eventually sneak a winner in the 89th minute when Lang slipped in behind United defender Daily Blind to tap home a pass from Raoul Petretta.
On Wednesday, Mourinho and his side will have a good opportunity to make up for last year’s result and start their Champions League campaign on a positive note. United are coming off the back of two good Premier League victories at Burnley and Watford after suffering defeats to Brighton and Tottenham Hotspur earlier on in the season.
Young Boys, on the other hand, head into the match as the current Swiss champions after winning the league in April with four games to spare. Just like Basel last year, Young Boys could be a threat if Mourinho gets his tactics wrong.
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