Few teams go into the final game of their Champions League group with 12 points in the bag still unsure of their situation but, after a reckless 1-0 loss to Basel on Wednesday, that is exactly the position Manchester United find themselves in.
The concession of an 89th-minute goal in a match they should have had in their pockets by half-time means they now host CSKA Moscow on December 5 with work still to do to ensure that they will progress to the last 16 as pool winners. While that doesn’t sound too bad on its own, that game at Old Trafford comes just five days before the Manchester derby against neighbours City.
Just as it looked as though United had set themselves up for a pressure-free fixture as the perfect preparation for City’s visit, Michael Lang slid in at the far post to convert a left-wing cross which had somehow made its way to the bye-line unchecked.
The draw would have been enough for United, their profligacy in the first hour was the reason why they were not already out of sight by the time Basel breached their backline…