Basel 2-0 Roma: Super Swiss Stun Ranieri’s Roma

Roma Basel

European football always throws up a few surprises, and the opening matchday of the inaugural Europa League has done exactly that, as the Swiss side Basel have edged out the favourites for the competition Roma at St. Jacob-Park.

Following a tentative opening by both sides, it took just 11 minutes for the first goal of the night to go in, as the hosts’ Portuguese midfielder Carlitos hit a stunning drive from all of 25 yards, beating Julio Sergio in the Roman goal, handing his side the early advantage.

The Giallorossi attempted to hit back immediately, and they almost did through their inspirational captain Francesco Totti. The talisman forced the home keeper, Costanzo, into making a number of key saves, whilst also being denied by the woodwork from a speculative free kick.

Despite their 1-0 advantage, and the fact that they were being completely outplayed, the home side had great opportunities to double their lead late on in the first half, through their two front men in Alexander Frei and Marco Streller, against the run of play.

I Lupi had no answer to the dynamic style of the home side to this point, which resulted in Claudio Ranieri making all three of his changes within the first 20 minutes of the second half.

Totti was again the only shining light for the Romans, as it was his effort just prior to the hour mark that sparked the thought of a potential revival once again; however it wasn’t to be for his side.

Basel looked as if they were to end off any chance the visitors had on 72 minutes, when Scott Chipperfield’s perfect cross into Streller, resulted in the hitman attempting a spectacular overhead kick that was denied by the crossbar.

The Swiss eventually got their reward on 87 minutes though, as the substitute Federico Almerares scored the second goal of the night, with a simple strike from 12 yards, to ensure that the match impressively ended 2-0 in favour of the hosts.


~ by footballdirecta on September 17, 2009.

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