By JOHN BOSCHINI
Manchester United and Manchester City might be competing atop the Premier League standings, but neither of them will be taking part in the UEFA Champions League group stage. Instead, it's off to the Europa League.
Manchester United became the first finalist to be knocked out in the group stage the following year after being shocked by FC Basel in Switzerland, 2-1, and relegated to the second tier competition with a third-place group finish. A draw would have been enough for Sir Alex Ferguson's side, but goals from Marco Stellar and Alexander Frei gave the Swiss side the victory.
David De Gea was to blame for Stellar's opener as the young goalkeeper pushed a low cross directly into the path of Stellar, who volleyed it home. United poured forward, desperate for an equalizer for the next hour but found themselves picking the ball out of their own net six minutes from time when Frei headed home an insurance goal.
It's a goal Basel would need as Phil Jones clawed a goal back for United just as full time was about to expire, but United, which lost Nemanja Vidic to a knee injury in the first half, couldn't find a second in injury time. It is only the second time in 16 appearances in the Champions League in which United failed to make the knockout rounds.
Here is a look back at all the incredible action from today's Champions League.
MANCHESTER CITY 2, BAYERN MUNICH 0
Manchester City did their part but a 2-0 victory over Bayern Munich wasn't enough to see United's noisy neighbors through to the knockout rounds. City thoroughly outclassed the reserve-laden German side throughout the game and took the lead just before halftime with a well-taken goal from David Silva.
Adam Johnson found the creative midfielder with a through in and Silva buried it into the corner with a hard shot. Yaya Toure put the result beyond doubt when he coolly slotted the ball home following some nifty passing from Manchester City. Bayern Munich's offense came mostly from shots from outside the box and looked like a team already secure in their qualification.
City needed Villarreal to at least force a draw with Napoli, but the Spanish side was unable to come through.
NAPOLI 2, VILLAREAL 0
Napoli are through to the knockout round with two second-half goals against a Villareal side desperate to end their European campaign. Gokhan Inler and Marek Hamsik scored 10 minutes apart midway through the second half to give Napoli the victory. Villareal ends its Champions League with zero points in six games.
LYON 7, DINAMO ZAGREB 1
Lyon completed one of the most unlikely comebacks in Champions League history as a 7-1 victory over 10-man Dinamo Zagreb (combined with a 3-0 Real Madrid victory over Ajax) saw them overturn a seven-goal deficit against Ajax and book a place in the knockout rounds.
Jerko Leko was sent off in the 28th minute, but Dinamo took the unlikely lead through Mateo Kovacic. From that point on, it was all Lyon.
Bafatembi Gomis knotted the scored just before halftime before the floodgates opened for Lyon in the second half.
Gomis scored a second-half hat trick, while Maxime Gonalons, Lisandro Lopez and Jimmy Briand added goals of their own. The result comes just a day after fellow Ligue 1 side Marseille scored three goals to come from behind and qualify for the knockout round.
REAL MADRID 3, AJAX 0
Ajax entered the day almost certain of a place in the knockout stages, but Lyon's victory combined with the Dutch side's lackluster performance relegates them into the Europa League. Jose Maria Callejon bagged a brace for Real Madrid and Gonzalo Higuain added a goal of his own. Ajax, which had two goals disallowed because of offsides calls, had seven shots on goal against a Real Madrid side missing several starters in anticipation of El Clasico this weekend.
BENFICA 1, OTELUL GALATI 0
Benfica ended the group stages with an exclamation point after a 1-0 victory over Otelul Galati assured the Portugese side of top spot in Group C. Oscar Cardozo was on the scoresheet after just six minutes, and the visitors were never much of a threat to equalize.
CSKA MOSCOW 2, INTER MILAN 1
CSKA Moscow took advantage of an Inter Milan side that had already wrapped up Group B to sneak into second place. Vassili Berezoutski scored in the 86th minute to give the visitors the unlikely upset. Esteban Cambiasso had canceled out Seydou Doumbia's opener early in the second half.
LILLE 0, TRABZONSPOR 0
Both teams crashed out of the competition despite either needing a victory to supplant CSKA Moscow for second place in the group. Turkish upstart Trabzonspor could never find the offensive spark they so desperately needed, and Lille couldn't find the back of the net despite having 66 percent of the possession.
What did you think of today's games? Shocked to see Manchester United and Manchester City exit so early? Amazed at Lyon's comeback?
Share your thoughts below.