Manchester clubs exit European Champions League at group stage

    Alex Frei celebrates his clinching second goal for Basel in their 2-1 win over Manchester United

    Story highlights

    • Manchester City and Manchester United exit European Champions League
    • Manchester United lose 2-1 in Basel to seal their fate in Group C
    • Manchester City beat Bayern Munich 2-0 but Napoli's win eliminates them
    • Chelsea and Arsenal only two qualifiers for last 16 from English Premier League
    Manchester United and their city rivals Manchester City both made embarrassing exits from the European Champions League on Wednesday.
    United were beaten 2-1 in Basel to leave the Swiss side and Benfica as the qualifiers from Group C, while City beat Bayern Munich 2-0 at the Etihad Stadium but went out as Napoli won 2-0 at Villarreal.
    It left Bayern and the Italians to go through from Group A to complete a chastening first experience of Europe's top club competition for Robert Mancini's expensively assembled side.
    But it was the exit of last year's runners-up United which was the biggest upset, needing only a draw to ensure their passage to the last 16, goals from Marco Streller and Alexander Frei sent them crashing.
    Phil Jones pulled one back in the 89th minute to set up a frantic finale but they could not force the equalizer.
    Streller's goal after nine minutes came as a result of defensive uncertainty with goalkeeper David De Gea parrying out a cross which fell invitingly for the scorer.
    Wayne Rooney wasted United best chance to level and Markus Steinhofer belted the ball against his own crossbar in the second half before Frei nipped in to head home the crucial second goal in the 84th minute.
    It was the first time Alex Ferguson's men had failed to reach the knockout stages of the Champions League for six years and only the third time in 16 years.
    "Of course we're disappointed, there's no other way you can feel," Ferguson told Sky Sports.
    "It's part of football. You have to deal with the disappointment, and this club has used it as motivation many times.
    "These young players will feel disappointed tonight but they'll have to cope with it and go on with their careers."
    Oscar Cardozo scored the crucial goal after seven minutes for Benfica in their 1-0 win over Otelul Galati which left them top of the group.
    English Premier League leaders Manchester City eased to victory against their understrength Bavarian visitors as David Silva and Yaya Toure struck either side of halftime.
    But it all proved academic as Napoli left Villarreal pointless after goals from Gokhan Inler and Marek Hamsik inflicted a sixth straight group defeat on the Spaniards.
    It was the first time Napoli have qualified for the knockout stages of the Champions League.