Champions League press review: 'Bye bye Rooney! Bye bye Man U!'

The Swiss press were jubilant after Basel beat Manchester United at St Jakob's Park

Who said Switzerland is a haven of neutrality? The country's press were in a state of excitement this morning after Basel dumped Manchester United out of the Champions League.

"Today is Christmas!" cheered the mass-circulation Blick newspaper, incorrectly. "The miracle of St Jakob stadium! Frei and Streller give Switzerland the present of a place in the last 16 of the Champions League."

Blick reckoned the result was one for the ages: "FC Basel pulled off probably the greatest sensation in Swiss football history. Bye bye Rooney! Bye bye Man U!" Le Temps kept it simple: "Phenomenal! FC Basel write history."

Basel's local paper, Basler Zeitung, was understandably in celebration mode too. "The miracle of Joggeli [St Jakob's Park]," read its front page. It went on to describe how the euphoria carried on to the streets afterwards: "By 10.38pm the sensation had been achieved … 35,000 Basel fans in the sold-out St Jakob's Park were euphoric, the 1,000 United supporters bewildered. Afterwards Basel city erupted in a noisy football party."

Blick described how the players were out joining the party too: "The two scorers, Alex Frei and Marco Streller, celebrated with the fans. They were in an exuberant and relaxed mood after the sensational victory over the great Manchester United … Even at 2.30am, the Basel players were willing to take pictures with fans."

20 Minuten compared Basel's exploits to two famous figures from British literature: "At the end of the 19th century, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle created Sherlock Holmes and Dr Watson. Although both were outstanding individuals, they only displayed their potential when they worked as a team. Against the record-breaking British [sic] champions Marco Streller and Alex Frei showed qualities that were reminiscent of the British master detectives: one forced the ball into the net, the other used his head ... And as in the case of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's stories, we will tell them to the world."

Blick was also in no doubt about who Basel wanted as their opponents in the last-16. "In addition to Basel, the Cypriots [Apoel Nicosia] are the great Champions League surprise and [they] lie within reach of the Swiss."

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