Two goals in the final 20 minutes helped FC Basel gain a shocking win at Stamford Bridge as Chelsea fell to a 2-1 defeat in their opening group game in the UEFA Champions League.
The Blues were looking to bounce back from a loss to Everton at the weekend and dominated the ball in the first half, taking the lead through Oscar’s 45th minute strike.
However, the Swiss side turned the game on its head with goals from Mohammed Salah and Marco Streller to give Basel a victory they arguably deserved.
Jose Mourinho’s side controlled possession from the kick-off but found it hard to breach a rearguard Basel defence in the first 45 minutes. Eden Hazard, who had a poor game, should have done better when firing at goal from 20 yards, but he blazed high and wide to the frustration of the home fans.
Salah impressed again for Basel on the sight of a memorable goal in last season’s Europa League, but failed to hit the target from 15 yards after coming inside onto his favoured left foot. It was a decent chance, but Chelsea will be disappointed by the amount of space afforded to the Basel winger with David Luiz most at fault.
It took Chelsea until the final minute of the half to take the lead, but it was a well-taken goal that violated Basel’s stubborn backline. Frank Lampard did well to break from midfield and thread a pass through for Oscar to race into the box, but the Brazilian still had a lot to do. The attacking midfielder drilled his show low from 18 yards and the ball flew into the bottom corner past the helpless Basel goalkeeper, Yann Sommer.
Chelsea looked fired up at the start of the second half and were desperately close to doubling their lead in the 56th minute. Oscar dropped his shoulder and came inside onto his right foot before curling a tremendous striker towards goal, but the ball thumped back off the crossbar to the relief of the travelling Swiss fans.
Chelsea continued to make chances and after Branislav Ivanovic headed straight at Sommer from a Lampard corner, Hazard provided another poor miss to compound his evening. Oscar, who was one of the only bright spots for the Blues, did well to pick out his Belgian teammate with a good pass, but Hazard thrashed the ball over with his left foot from ten yards. It was a bad miss and Chelsea were soon punished for the inaccuracies.
Basel grew into the game and looked threatening n the counter-attack, so it was no surprise when they drew level in the 71st minute. Streller must take the credit for a precise pass to find Salah in the box, but the winger’s terrific finish beat Cech and slid into the bottom corner to make it 1-1. It was a great goal and tremendous moment for Basel, but it was about to get better.
Chelsea failed to defend a corner properly as David Stocker’s cross was flicked in at the near post by Streller’s good header, and Jose Mourinho’s side were staring at a second consecutive defeat in all competitions. It was a lead that Basel’s tactics deserved as they had weathered Chelsea’s storm with good defending and hit them on the break twice.
It was probably the perfect away performance from the Swiss team, but Mourinho will be furious at how his side let the win slip away.
Match Report by Kyle Dixon(@kyledixon95)