Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Young's Equaliser Spares Blushes

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Young's Equaliser Spares Blushes

Article excerpt

Manchester United 3 FCBasle 3 ASHLEY Young rescued Manchester United from an embarrassing defeat by Basle in a match which exposed worrying defensive shortcomings for Sir Alex Ferguson's men.

United had appeared to be strolling through the match, thanks to Danny Welbeck demonstrating lethal finishing with two goals in just 80 seconds to justify his place at the expense of Dimitar Berbatov. But United had been given ample warning about Basle's threat with the Swiss side missing a hatful of chances before they stunned Old Trafford with three goals, two from Alex Frei and one from his namesake Fabian Frei, before Young's last-minute header saved a point for United.

Basle remain on top of Group C in the Champions League and this performance will provide Ferguson with some headscratching to do, with question marks particularly against Phil Jones and Rio Ferdinand's compatibility in central defence.

The first half was all about Welbeck, however - having been a loan striker last season at Sunderland, the 20-year-old was a lone one against Basle with Ferguson surprising everyone, and not least Berbatov, with his formation.

Ryan Giggs played a key supporting role to Welbeck and was devastatingly influential with the vital touches to allow the young striker to finish. The first came from a well-worked move. Jones brought the ball forward, Antonia Valencia took over and picked out Fabio's run into the box. A simple ball across the box was cushioned by Giggs into Welbeck's path and although he scuffed his shot slightly it still found the corner.

Just over a minute later and Giggs played a masterful ball that Welbeck struck home with a powerful low shot to make it 2-0. Basle must have been cursing themselves with both Freis and Marco Streller all having missed the target from decent positions.

Basle coach Thorsten Fink must have been tearing his luscious blond hair out, but the second half was a different story. David de Gea had saved with his foot from Streller before Fabian Frei put the visitors back in the game. …

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