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Report: Basel win 2-1 as Manchester United look to beating CSKA Moscow to remain in the UEFA Youth League

Manchester United were beaten 2-1 by Basel in the UEFA Youth League on Wednesday afternoon. The first half saw both teams have plenty of chances, only to end a draw. 14 minutes into the second half, Basel took the lead through Afimico Pululu. United, after making two changes, fell to pieces giving away a penalty on the 66th minute, which was scored by Yves Kaiser to take the Swiss side 2-0 up and cruising to victory. United got a goal back in the 70th minute from the free-kick, taken by Angel Gomes and headed into the net by Tyrell Warren.

Nicky Butt started the likes of Angel Gomes, Indy Boonen, Lee O’Connor, Ro-Shaun Williams and Josh Bohui in this must-win UEFA Youth League match. As Benfica were beaten earlier in the day bt CSKA Moscow, United will win the group if they take all three points in this fixture. United had a good start to the match with Tyrell Warren fouled by Daniele Vesco which resulted in a free-kick for United and Vesco coming off injured with Atdhe Rashiti replacing him.

In the eighth minute, Gomes had a shot from outside the box, the Basel keeper pushing the effort wide, with United winning a corner. Basel had a chance to take the lead in the 15th minute through Rashiti, which was wide of the target after Alex Fojtíček forced the effort wide, Basel winning a corner – which came to nothing. United were aiming to take control of the game but getting nowhere around the halfway point of the first half. United had been creative, just not finding what was needed to take the lead. Basel also had chances to open the scoring, failing to do so.

Basel seemed to be a lot better than they were in the opening ten minute of the match, which could have been the chance for United to break. In the 30th minute of the match, Basel won a corner, a chance to pressure United. The corner saw Basel threaten United, despite being outside of the penalty area with a Basel player heading over the crossbar, which was lucky for United. Basel were on top at this stage of the game, creating chances and pressuring United at the back.

However, the score was still level with around thirteen minutes of the half remaining, plus stoppage time for the earlier incident in the match. Gezim Pepsi was shown the yellow card in the 34th minute of the match for a foul on James Garner, who had won the ball with United awarded a free-kick in the Basel half with Williams taking it, Indy Boonen at the near post and the Basel keeper taking possession of the ball. United had a chance to take the lead coming to the end of the first half through Hamilton, whose effort was off target.

Gomes gave away a free-kick in the 45th minute of the match, which was taken by Dejan Žunić but unable to pressure United into conceding the opening goal of the game. United had chances in the half through Gomes and Hamilton, unable to take the lead themselves. The match went into the break 0-0 with all to play for in the second half. Nicky Butt may be seeking a tactical change with Nishan Burkart and Millen Baars on the bench, both able to turn on the class for their club.

There were no changes for either side at the start of the second half. Within three minutes Basel had another chance with Noah Okafor having a shot on goal with Fojtíček making the save. United were on the attack with Basel taking possession and turning the screw on the visiting side – aiming to take the advantage in the match. Basel, after a period of dominance and plenty of chances, took the lead in the 59th minute of the match through Afimico Pululu with Fojtíček not having a chance to make the save.

Nicky Butt then made two changes for United in the 60th minute with Luca Ercolani being replaced by Nishan Burkart and James Garner coming off for Thomas Sang. United were now playing a back four formation, which may be better for the side as they look to find the equaliser as a win in this match will secure United as the group winners. It was more doom and gloom for United as Basel were awarded a penalty in the 66th minute of the match after Pululu was fouled. Yves Kaiser put his side 2-0 up from the spot with United having an uphill challenge to deal with now.

United got a goal back in the 70th minute of the match through Tyrell Warren after being awarded a free-kick, taken by Gomes, with Warren rising for the ball and beating the keeper. Butt made his third change after the goal with Tanner being replaced by Millen Baars. Fojtíček kept United in the game after their goal, making a double save to deny Basel from scoring again. United needed to get stuck in and find that second goal to level the game in the remaining 18 minutes of the match. Okafor was booked in the 76th minute for a tug of the shirt – free-kick to United.

Gomes took the free-kick, missing the target with the Basel keeper making a diving effort, seemingly not confident the ball was going too wide of the target. United had a good period of possession, getting deep in the Basel half and aiming to score the equaliser, which the Basel keeper thwarted by making the save. Basel then won a throw-in after Gomes took the ball out of play at a time where United were getting forward a lot of the time.

United were under pressure in the 82nd minute and Fojtíček came off his line, cutting out a shot with United getting back to their defensive position. Pululu was shown a yellow card for simulation, diving in the box, seemingly trying to win a second penalty of the match. United not having it though. Basel made their second change in the 83rd minute with Nicola Suter replacing Okafor. In the 87th minute, Warren was booked for a foul on Suter, then a minute later, Suter was booked for a foul on Burkart. In the 89th minute, Hamilton missed a chance to level the score for United.

Game over. 2-1 to Basel. United were unlucky to lose in Basel and will now need to beat CSKA Moscow at Leigh Sports Village on the 5th December, hoping that Benfica can do the business against Basel, their only chance to win the group – other than that, United will get a play-off place with a victory over the Russian side.

Goals: Tyrell Warren 70′

Assists: Angel Gomes 71′

Manchester United: Fojtíček; Williams, Warren, Ercolani (Burkart 60′); O’Connor, Garner (Sang 60′), Hamilton, Tanner (Baars 71′); Gomes, Bohui, Boonen

Substitutes Not Used: Carney, Barrett, Kenyon, Galbraith

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