Champions League - Paper Round: Thursday night…Channel Five

Thu, 08 Dec 08:45:00 2011

There is only one show in town in Thursday's papers and that is the double Champions League exit of the Manchester clubs.

Manchester United's English striker Wayne Rooney (C) Rio Ferdinand (L) and Nani (R) walk after their UEFA Champions League group C football match agaisnt Basel - 0

Both Manchester City and United crashed out on Wednesday, but while City's demise was expected, United's shock defeat in Basel has seen them particularly savaged by those on Fleet Street.

Here is a round-up of how the papers have covered the story.

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The Sun

Headline: Thursday night…Channel Five

Steven Howard: This wasn't the way they had it in the brochure. It was supposed to be a two-pronged assault on the Champions League with English clubs from the same Northern city meeting in an emotional final in Munich that showed Manchester was the epicentre of football. Now the biggest spenders in European history and a club with one of its proudest and most consistent records have been consigned to the ignominy of the Europa League.

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The Daily Mail

Headline: Wipeout!

There is only one show in town in Thursday's papers and that is the double Champions League exit of the Manchester clubs. - 2 Martin Samuel: Nothing is forever in football; and if Manchester United’s empire is not exactly crumbling, it is hardly thriving, either. The modern elite clubs do not do seasons of transition but many United followers will be hoping that is what this is. The flipside is too grim to contemplate.

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The Daily Star

Headline: Manc you and goodnight

Brian Woolnough: A disastrous night in the Champions League for Manchester but the big Blue Moon is still smiling. The embarrassing drop into the Europa League will hurt United more than City.

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The Daily Mirror

Headline: Out, Out

David McDonnell: United fans used to revel in taunting arch rivals Liverpool about their participation in the cup competition for European football's small fry and the casualties of the Champions League group stage. Now it is United's turn to be subjected to those taunts after their stuttering Champions League campaign ended in failure to make it out of the group stage for only the third time in 17 years.

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The Independent

Headline: United get what they deserve – the Europa League

Tim Rich: When Christmas comes to the snow-flecked banks of the Rhine, a DVD of this match will be filling rather more Swiss stockings than It's a Wonderful Life. This was Basle's game of their lives and it consigned Manchester United to the kind of footballing Alaska that is the Europa League.

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Daily Express

Headline: Manchester Benighted

Mick Dennis: Was this the end of an era? If so, United’s period of eminence ended with a whimper, a flaccid 2-1 defeat which threatens to leave them pot-less this season. This was a painfully meek surrender to the Swiss.

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The Times

Headline: 'Embarrassing' fall from grace

Tony Cascarino: What has happened to Manchester United? Qualification is normally straightforward, but not anymore. This was a shadow of the team I know.

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Daily Telegraph

Headline: The mighty have fallen

Paul Hayward: United’s supporters - and certainly mischievous neutrals - were queuing up to bemoan the quality of their midfield, the loss to injury of Tom Cleverley, David de Gea’s first-half goalkeeping error and the deadweight of the Glazers, who have taken out £600 million in interest and other payments since their takeover in 2005: the last time United fell in round one.

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The Guardian

Headline: Manchester's night of misery

Kevin McCarra: For Ferguson and his men regret has more often come of late from defeats by Barcelona in Champions League finals. There is no disgrace in falling to a lineup that will take an eminent place in the history of the game but the departure from the tournament at the hands of Basel is the sort of outcome to spark recriminations and questions. It will not do the balance sheet much good either.

Eurosport

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