Christian McBride, Sports Correspondent
It might be ‘the best league in the world’ but last night’s European outing for the English Premiership sure was a lesson in humility. The Mancunian contingent of the EPL suffered at the hands of both European veterans and relative unknowns.
City suffered at the hands of a ruthless Bayern Munich side that demonstrated the hostility of the European top flight. A decent showing from Joe Hart between the sticks wasn’t enough to cope with the swift attacking play of Munich, who always seemed to have the right man in the right place, and twice that man was Gomez. The two goals just before the half were enough for Munich as City rarely seemed on the verge of scoring. With only 7 shots on goal to Munich’s 19, City’s strike force seemed lack luster, and this led to what the night will most likely be remembered for; Tevez’s refusal to play. As City looked to bring on some sort of fire power to threaten the Munich goal Tevez seemed to refuse to warm up. Mancini was furious after the match and stated “If we want to improve as a team Carlos can’t play with us. With me, he is finished.” A troubling end to a bad night in Germany for the Blues.
But at home things were no better for United, the Devils were rocked by a shock performance from relative European unknowns FC Basel. The Swiss side showed fantastic determination in the face of going 2-0 down after Welbeck scored a duo in the 16th and 17th minutes. But that brief flurry was out of character for the United display on the night, as the failed to turn up for much of the match and had to weather a Basel performance that saw them create chances regularly and this payed dividends with 2 goals in as many minutes of their own in the second half and as poor communication at the back led to a foul on Basel’s tenacious trouble making striker Streller in the box and Basel went ahead on penalties. The only player to earn his supper for United was the young man between the sticks, De Gea, who had to fend of one ambitious Basel attack after another. Young managed to claw back a last minute reprieve for United who faced only their third European defeat at Old Trafford in 54 games., and that was a generous final score.
Tonight Chelsea and Arsenal will take to the European stage to try and reclaim a little pride for the Premiership against Valencia and Olympiakos respectively. Games they will be hoping to win if they want to progress confidently to the next round.