excellent reverse pass released Rooney, only for the striker's shot to lack the power to really trouble Sommer. Some desperate defending was required to block attempts from Nani and Phil Jones but the half ended in dismay with captain Vidic taken off a stretcher after sustaining a serious-looking knee injury. Without the skipper, United were under real pressure going into the second half and needed to step up to the plate.
Basel gained more possession after the break but Rooney raced onto another fantastic through ball by Giggs, only to curl wide with his crafty attempt failing to bend accurately enough. Nani forced a diving save out of Sommer but Basel carried greater threat themselves with Shaqiri off target after Streller capitalised on a quick throw-in. De Gea then produced a flying save to keep out an Alexander Frei free-kick and keep United in with a shout.
On the hour mark, only the woodwork denied the Reds as Markus Steinhofer inexplicably hammered a Nani cross against the underside of his own bar. Young was unable to convert the rebound and another chance was missed when Rooney cut inside but dragged a tame shot wide. Sir Alex replaced Young with Danny Welbeck in a bid to add more energy to his attack but Rooney was offside when heading over a Smalling cross from close range as time started to run out.
When a corner fell to Rooney on the edge of the box 15 minutes from time, he could only steer a deliberate shot the wrong side of Sommer's left-hand post and Jones stormed forward only to deliver a cross to the grateful Sommer. One final throw of the dice from the manager with nine minutes left saw Federico Macheda replace Park but, to everyone's surprise, it was Basel who found the net next.