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Last Updated:  Wednesday, 12 March, 2003, 21:35 GMT
Basle hold Man Utd
Christian Gimenez celebrates scoring for Basle
Christian Gimenez celebrates scoring for Basle
Man Utd 1-1 Basle

Manchester United's shadow squad were held to a draw by Basle in the Champions League at Old Trafford.

Gary Neville struck only the fourth goal of his long Manchester United career to rescue a point for Sir Alex Ferguson's side after Swiss champions Basle took an early lead.

Christian Gimenez struck after 14 minutes to give Basle coach Christian Gross hope of the shock victory that would boost their chances of qualifying for the quarter-finals.

But Neville's rare strike levelled matters early in the second half to leave United still unbeaten in the second group stage.

Ferguson took advantage of United's early qualification for the last eight to rest established stars and blood Old Trafford's promising youngsters.

Teenager Darren Fletcher was handed his debut, while Kieran Richardson was included with Ryan Giggs, David Beckham, Ruud van Nistelrooy and Paul Scholes on the bench.

And the reshuffle showed in a disjointed first 45 minutes which left the home crowd in subdued mood.

I think we deserved the point on our second half performance
Man Utd manager Sir Alex Ferguson

The Swiss took the lead after 14 minutes when Thimothee Atouba found Sebastian Barberis.

His cross found Gimenez unmarked on the edge of the six-yard box and the Argentine volleyed past Roy Carroll.

It was a boost for Basle, who knew a win would set up a decider with Juventus in the final round of games.

United boss Ferguson was clearly unhappy with his side's opening 45 minutes, and he introduced Giggs for Richardson at half-time.

And it brought a reward seven minutes after the interval, via the unlikely source of Gary Neville.

Neville's left foot shot deflected off Atouba to leave goalkeeper Pascal Zuberbuhler.

As both sides pressed for a winner, United made a double substitution with 18 minutes left, sending on Scholes and Beckham for Laurent Blanc and the promising Fletcher.

Neville almost hit the target again with a right-foot drive, but Zuberbuhler was well positioned to save.

Man Utd: Carroll, Gary Neville, Blanc (Scholes 73), Ferdinand, O'Shea, Fletcher (Beckham 73), Phil Neville, Butt, Richardson (Giggs 45), Solskjaer, Forlan.
Subs Not Used: Ricardo, van Nistelrooy, Pugh, Webber.

Booked: Phil Neville.

Basle: Zuberbuhler, Atouba, Murat Yakin, Zwyssig, Haas, Chipperfield, Cantaluppi, Barberis, Hakan Yakin, Gimenez (Tum 77), Juilio Rossi (Huggel 62).
Subs Not Used: Rapo, Quennoz, Varela, Duruz, Degen.

Booked: Cantaluppi.

Attendance: 66,870.

Referee: Claus Bo-Larsen (Denmark).

Man Utd boss Sir Alex Ferguson
"We deserved a point"

Basle boss Christian Gross
"We we trying to win the game"

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