FC Basel v Chelsea FC –
Final Score/Result: Basel 1-0 Chelsea
Man Of The Match: Ivan Ivanov
Chelsea FC qualifies for the knock-out stage of the Champions League despite the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Basel last night.
Basel completed a historic double over Chelsea in the group stage as they defeated the reigning Europa League champions at the St. Jakob-Park. It was a disappointing performance from Jose Mourinho’s men who managed only two shots in the whole ninety minutes, and none of them were on target. Basel dominated the game from the start and deservedly won the match with a late strike. This win has now put them in a strong position to qualify for the next round and Murat Yakin’s men will now require only a draw against Schalke in the next match to ensure that. Despite this shambolic defeat, Chelsea have managed to book their place in the next stages of the competition as Schalke failed to defeat Steaua Bucuresti in the other game.
Basel created numerous opportunities in the first half, but Petr Cech kept Chelsea in the game with some important saves. Frei’s low shot was wonderfully saved by the Chelsea custodian in the 12th minute of the match and Mikel cleared the ball of the line from the resultant corner. He made another fine save from Mohamed Salah’s strike in the 23rd minute as the ball bounced awkwardly after hitting the ground.
Mourinho brought on Torres, De Bruyne and Hazard to inject some vigour into the attack, but Chelsea failed to create any substantial opportunity. Basel were solid at the back with Ivan Ivanov and Fabian Schar denying they any time or space on the ball. Basel finally broke through the Chelsea defence in the second half as Mohamed Salah scored a late winner. Fabian Schar set him up with a lovely ball over the top of the Chelsea defence and his blistering pace took him clear. The 21-year-old, who also scored at the Stamford Bridge in the reverse fixture, showed his composure and dinked the ball over Petr Cech. It was a deserved win for Basel as they completely shut out Chelsea.
Jose Mourinho was disappointed with the “bad performance” in this game, but blamed fatigue for such an insipid display. The Portuguese manager felt that his side suffered from their work load in the international break and then in the match against West Ham at the weekend.
“A bad performance, a deserved defeat – but because of other results we qualify mathematically for the last 16. Now we have to get a result at home to finish first, so that is the only positive thing.
“I didn’t like it from the first minute. We started with a defensive mistake immediately, the first time we were in the game we made a defensive mistake; I think we only had a little bit of stability and control in the second half but I felt the team was tired. The team paid the price for their international 15 days.
“The match against West Ham [on Saturday] was crucial and everyone played a great intense game but today we paid a price; they were tired. There was no reaction, wrong decisions – so I am not so sad with them as I understand. The team was not fresh and maybe I should have made more changes.
“We should have got a better result than this but I don’t blame the players. We have to rest and prepare for the game at the weekend because even with the defeat, [with] nine points we are through. That’s the minimum we could do and now we have to fight for first position.” – The Chelsea manager told the press.
Basel v Chelsea – Statistics
Ivan Ivanov produced a wonderful performance at the back for Basel in this game. While Mohamed Salah will grab all the headlines, it is the strong defensive performance at the back from Schar and Ivanov which laid down the base for this win – the fact that Chelsea were denied a shot on target in the whole game is a testimonial to that fact. The above heat-map depicts his movement and positioning on the pitch last night.