Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s 25-minute cameo against Basle was fairly uneventful by his standards but the Manchester United striker still managed to break a Champions League record in the process.
Ibrahimovic’s introduction saw him become the first player in the competition’s history to make a Champions League appearance for seven different sides.
The 36-year-old has also dined at Europe’s top table with Ajax, Juventus, Inter Milan, Barcelona, AC Milan and Paris Saint-Germain. He was previously tied with Nicolas Anelka and Javier Saviola on six different clubs.
His personal record was however not enough to save Manchester United, as Basel ensured that they have given Manchester United no game to spare.
When all the excitement had died down and everyone put their calculators away, the damage to Manchester United’s hopes of Champions League progress wasn’t that bad after all.
A late Basle winner at St Jakob-Park on Wednesday night changed the complexion of this match and the picture in Group A.
Enough for United to miss out on the knockout stage after surrendering their 100 per cent record? Hardly. They still only need a point to qualify as group winners and will fancy their chances of getting it on December 5 at home to a CSKA Moscow side already well beaten 4-1 in Russia.
The result means United must wait until the final match day to reach the knockouts when a draw against CSKA Moscow will do.
The bottom line is that Moscow must win by more than 6 goals at Old Trafford — United haven’t lost at home in 38 games — so don’t expect Jose Mourinho to be losing sleep anytime soon.