Manchester United continued to make qualifying from their Champions League group difficult for themselves last night. United sit in third with only two points from two games after throwing away a 2-0 lead to Basel to then have to come from behind to equalise and finish at 3-3.
End to end football between the two sides saw some positive attacking moves from United with Giggs, Young and Valencia all looking sharp and energetic in the final third. However David De Gea was the only solid component in a disappointingly sloppy defence which was eventually broken by Basel who hit three in the second half. One man who made the most of the job his was given on the pitch was young Danny Welbeck.
With Wayne Rooney and Javier Hernandez both missing through injury Danny Welbeck started as the only striker in the United line-up. Welbeck gave United the best start they could have asked for with two goals within two minutes when he netted in the 16th and 17th minute to put his team 2-0 up.
His first came when Fabio whipped the ball through the box for Giggs to calmly knock it back to Welbeck who took his chance well, burying it in the bottom corner. His second came through Giggs again. The architect collected the ball on the left whilst Welbeck used the space Basel gifted him, wisely making a run into the box which was detected too late by the Basel defence. Giggs slipped the ball into the Basel box right to the feet of Danny Welbeck who lashed it into the same corner he had hit a minute before.
Welbeck’s work-rate was impressive throughout even when he miscontrolled the ball on the edge of the area he didn’t give it up easily and fought to try and win it back. He kept himself in the thick of it throughout the game and when the second half got underway made a threatening run to put himself in a scoring position had Giggs passed rather than shot.
The striker did not shy away in the build up to attacks either. He played an influential role in the build up to a scoring opportunity when Fabio played a wild pass under pressure. He cleverly controlled the pass whist keeping it away from surrounding defenders with tidy footwork to lay it off to Anderson to allow the build up to continue.
Welbeck was unlucky not to complete his hattrick and give United the winner in stoppage time. He did well to beat his marker in the air to meet Nani’s cross but was unfortunate for it to bounce inches past the wrong side of the post. In the last seconds Welbeck gave Berbatov a goal scoring chance when he linked up with the Bulgarian who headed it down for Welbeck to flick it on into space, only for Berbatov to fire into the side netting.
An end to end game was always going to be decided by whichever team could take the most chances. Danny Welbeck did all that could be asked of him by scoring two goals and keeping composed throughout to assist in build up play and create chances. He was unlucky not to complete his hattrick and help United to the three points.