Manchester United passed up the opportunity to secure progression to the Champions League knockout phase, as Michael Lang's late winner clinched a 1-0 victory for Basel and put the Swiss side in the driving seat to finish second behind their visitors in Group A.
Jose Mourinho's side needed only a point to win the group and looked as though they would cruise to victory during a first half in which they controlled, but Basel rallied brilliantly after the break and stole a deserved winner right at the end.
United were absolutely dominant in the first half and created a host of fine opportunities.
But they were left frustrated, with Romelu Lukaku, Anthony Martial, Marouane Fellaini and Marcos Rojo all going close – the latter pair denied by the frame of the goal.
United's frustration in front of goal showed no sign of subsiding after the break, as they struggled to craft chances against a Basel side who made a marked improvement and even hit the crossbar through Lang.
The visitors appeared to have done enough to claim the point they needed to wrap up qualification, but Lang decisively struck in the 89th minute, moving them above CSKA Moscow due to a better head-to-head record, while United are left still needing a point against the Russian side to be absolutely sure of progression.
Basel's dynamic front trio kept United's defence – which included Rojo for the first time since April – busy during the early stages, but the visitors quickly got to grips and began to command proceedings.
Their first chance came in the 11th minute and it should have been the opening goal, as Lukaku was played through on goal by a fine Paul Pogba pass and saw his effort saved by Tomas Vaclik.
United went even closer a few moments later, with Manuel Akanji heading off the line after Fellaini had appeared to nod in from a corner.
Fellaini saw another header go close in the 16th minute, diverting Daley Blind's free-kick delivery agonisingly wide of the left-hand post.
United were kept at arm's length for the next 25 minutes, but then three chances came in quick succession.
The first fell to Fellaini, as the Belgian's header came back off the post, before Vaclik denied Anthony Martial after a brilliant run and then the crossbar kept Rojo's deflected 35-yard effort out.
Basel looked rather more purposeful at the start of the second period and Geoffrey Serey Die was not far off putting them ahead in the 51st minute, seeing a rasping effort fly just wide of Sergio Romero's left-hand post.
The lively Renato Steffen was causing Blind no end of problems and the winger almost scored a fine goal just after the hour mark, cutting in from the right and seeing a left-footed drive fly just past the far post.
Mourinho responded by introducing Marcus Rashford almost straight away, but his impact was minimal, with Basel remaining on top and hitting the bar through a Lang header 23 minutes from the end.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic's introduction from the bench did little to inspire a United improvement and they were made to pay for their awful second-half decline late on.
Raoul Petretta charged up the left flank and played a low ball across the face of goal for Lang to sweep home from close range, meaning United need to avoid defeat at home to CSKA in a match sandwiched between crucial Premier League clashes with Arsenal and Manchester City at the start of December.
Key Opta stats:
- Basel enjoyed only their second win in their last eight Champions League home games (D2 L4).
- No English side has ever managed to keep a clean sheet on the road against Basel in European competition (14 such fixtures).
- Manchester United have conceded in each of their last three games in all competitions, after keeping six clean sheets in the seven matches before that.
- The Red Devils have failed to score in two of their last three games in all competitions, drawing a blank as many times as in their previous 22.
- After mustering just one shot in the first half, Basel managed 12 after the break.
- Zlatan Ibrahimovic became the first player to play for seven different clubs in the Champions League (Ajax, Juventus, Internazionale, Barcelona, Milan, PSG, Manchester United).
|Federer to skip clay-court season again|
|Cardiff maintain winning streak, Leinster beaten|
|Montpellier march on, Brive climb off the bottom|
|De Gea and Ter Stegen criticise World Cup ball|
|Kisner thrashes Poulter to set up Thomas Match Play semi-final|
|Kokkinakis stuns Federer in Miami|
|Neymar to Real Madrid stories a media game, says PSG´s Pastore|
|Falcons rise to the occasion at St James´ Park|
|Celtics´ Irving to return in three to six weeks after surgery|
|Poulter forgets Oosthuizen´s Masters nightmare|
|Miami Open organisers unaware of Wozniacki abuse|
|FA condemns England supporters after trouble in Amsterdam|
|Warriors star Curry´s regular season over after MCL sprain|
|Radwanska stuns Halep to open up Miami draw|
|This is the real Michy - Batshuayi back on track at Dortmund|
|Atherton, Waqar, Du Plessis and now Bancroft - A brief history of ball tampering in cricket|
|Sweden 1 Chile 2: Bolados strikes late winner on debut|
|Stormers hold off rallying Reds at Newlands|
|Italy to name new coach in May, Costacurta confirms|
|Garcia eliminated as Thomas´ Match Play charge continues|
|Wozniacki demands action after Miami Open abuse|
|Smith will not stand down as Australia captain, despite role in Bancroft ball-tampering plot|
|Canada 1 New Zealand 0: Herdman enjoys winning start thanks to Ricketts|
|I saw an opportunity to change the ball condition - Bancroft|
|Wilshere withdraws from England squad to face Italy|
|Colombia collapse a slap for France, says Giroud|
|Vazquez wants Spain to face Messi|
|Gotze, Sahin mentoring Jadon Sancho at Dortmund|
|Low to make changes for Brazil friendly as injured Can heads home|
|Conti targets Milan derby for injury return|
|Bancroft charged over ball-tampering incident|
|Bancroft faces ball-tampering allegations as South Africa take control of third Test|
|F1 Raceweek: Hamilton out to make pole count, Ricciardo ready to fight|
|Northern Ireland 2 South Korea 1: Son frustrated as World Cup preparations stutter|
|Olympiacos & Nottingham Forest owner denies any wrongdoing over drug trafficking charges|
|I´ll dance with the fans - Gayle ready to party in Harare|
|Two games in two days! Ireland´s Doyle returns from Turkey to play for Bradford|
|Bancroft caught up in ball-tampering row|
|Everything is fine again! Khedira offers positive fitness update|
|Puyol ´doesn´t see any problem´ with Neymar joining Real Madrid|
|Spain already know their team - Sampaoli seeks Argentina certainty|
|No offers for ´happy´ Bellerin, insists Arsenal full-back´s agent|
|F1 teams up with Netflix for documentary series|
|Iker is trembling already! - Ramos hunting down Casillas´ cap record|
|Warriors leave it late to preserve winning start, Hayne injures hip|
|Silva leaves Spain squad for personal reasons|
|Egypt coach Cuper declares Salah among world´s best|
|A-League Review: Simon haunts managerless Mariners, Jakobsen opens City account|
|Ricciardo: I´ve been shot in the ankle before season has even started|
|Alvarez temporarily suspended over positive test|
|Ronaldo trumps Salah, Messi missing - winners and losers from Friday´s internationals|
|Giggs wants Bale to stay at Real Madrid|
|Canes end Highlanders´ winning run|
|Bottas ´sorry´ for qualifying crash|
|Muller and Ozil set to miss Brazil friendly|
|´I wanted to wipe the smile off your face´ - Hamilton-Vettel rivalry already simmering|
|Ramos hails Spain´s belief after Germany draw|
|Buffon not ready to walk away as Italy look to the future|
|Hamilton breaks records to take pole in Melbourne|
|Curry suffers MCL sprain in first game back from ankle injury|
|Rain ruins day three in Auckland|
|Celtics get another short-handed win, Curry injured again|
|Wozniacki exits as Venus, Konta cruise in Miami|
|Wozniacki stunned by Puig in Miami|
|Mexico 3 Iceland 0: Layun scores brace in friendly win|
|Djokovic struggles continue as Cilic, Dimitrov progress|
|Usain Bolt not ready for top level, says Stoger|
|Ronaldo is a goal – Santos hails Portugal star|
|Pro Bowl TE Bennett announces retirement from NFL|
|Broncos acquire Veldheer from Cardinals for sixth-round pick|