For those who criticise the Champions League group stages, this fabulous affair was evidence of the sort of entertainment that it can provide.
United went behind to Phil Jones' early own goal but battled back valiantly with goals from Dimitar Berbatov, spearheading the team in Wayne Rooney's absence, and Darren Fletcher. The Portuguese visitors responded swiftly through Pablo Aimar to keep their unbeaten run this season intact and a Nani cross that deflected behind in injury time proved the final throw of the dice.
As it stands, United are second in Group C - level on points with Benfica but crucially behind Tuesday's opponents on the head-to-head format, with Jorge Jesus' outfit due to play Otelul Galati in the final round of matches. Basel held out for a 3-2 victory in Romania and they sit only a point behind last season's runners-up in the table.
The Reds got off to a nightmare start when an incisive move down the right in the third minute saw Maxi Pereira feed Nicolas Gaitan and the winger's cross was shinned into his own net by Jones in the middle, giving David De Gea no chance.
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