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Rediff.com  » Sports » Champions League: Basel, Marseille register shock wins

Champions League: Basel, Marseille register shock wins

Last updated on: February 23, 2012 10:14 IST

Basel stun Bayern Munich with late goal

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Basel pulled off another huge Champions League upset with a 1-0 victory over Bayern Munich on Wednesday to move within sight of the quarter-finals.

Substitute Valentin Stocker snatched the winner for the Swiss champions in the 86th minute with a shot which went through Bayern keeper Manuel Neuer's legs.

Bayern had survived two early let-offs in the first leg of the last 16 tie as Aleksandar Dragovic and Alexander Frei both struck the woodwork for the Swiss side whose attacking style accounted for Manchester United in the group phase.

It was the latest blow for Bayern who have suffered a loss of form in the Bundesliga and have dropped four points behind leaders Borussia Dortmund.

Arjen Robben, relegated to the substitutes' bench in Bayern's recent outings, won back his place in the starting line-up but failed to impress.



Image: Basel striker Valentin Stocker celebrates after scoring the winning goal
Photographs: Reuters

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Bayern's attacks lacked imagination

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Bayern began promisingly as Franck Ribery had a shot blocked by Yann Sommer in the third minute and was denied shortly afterwards when he was sent clear but Sommer pushed his effort into the side-netting.

Basel's first chance fell to Marco Streller whose clever flick was tipped away by Neuer.

The hosts continued to menace the Bayern goal and Dragovic's header was pushed on to the inside of the post by Neuer. Three minutes later the woodwork saved Bayern again when Frei crashed a shot against the crossbar from 12 metres after Park Joo Ho's slide rule pass found him free in the middle of the area.

Bayern took control of the midfield after that, enjoying lots of possession although their attacks lacked imagination.

Robben set up one chance for David Alaba and the Austrian's shot was parried by Sommer.

Alaba had Bayern's first good effort of the second half with a low shot which flew past the post from a similar position 20 metres from goal.

Mario Gomez nearly caught out Sommer with an overhead kick and the goalkeeper also did well to palm away Philipp Lahm's drive. Gomez was then sent clear but Sommer blocked his effort.

Considering the chances at both ends an unlikely 0-0 draw loomed until Stocker's dramatic late strike sent the crowd in the St Jakob Park stadium into raptures.


Image: Bayern Munich's Franck Ribery (right) tries to score but his shot was blocked by FC Basel goalkeeper Yann Sommer
Photographs: Reuters

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Late Ayew goal gives Marseille 1-0 win over Inter

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A stoppage-time goal from Andre Ayew gave Olympique Marseille a 1-0 win over Inter Milan in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie at the Stade Velodrome on Wednesday.

Ayew broke the deadlock with a glancing header in the third minute of time added on from a Mathieu Valbuena corner leaving the Inter players shaking their heads in disbelief as the French side stretched their unbeaten run in all competitions to 16 games.

Inter's best chance of the match came in the 11th minute when Steve Mandanda tipped a Diego Forlan half-volley over the bar.

The return leg will be played at the San Siro on March 13.


Image: Olympic Marseille's Andre Ayew (right) celebrates with team-mate Morgan Amalfitano after scoring against Inter Milan
Photographs: Reuters

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Inter have lost six of their last seven games in all competitions

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The hosts enjoyed plenty of possession but were made to wait until the half hour to threaten Julio Cesar when a free kick landed in front of goal only for Brandao and Souleymane Diawara to get muddled up and put the ball out of play while the Inter defence went AWOL.

The unmarked Mauro Zarate had a chance for the 2010 European champions eight minutes before the break but his low shot was too weak to bother Mandanda.

Inter looked dangerous on the break but the Marseille defence held a high line and increased the pressure in the second half but still struggled to create clear chances.

Joel Obi replaced Zarate shortly after the hour as Inter coach Claudio Ranieri looked to add fresh blood to his front line.

His Marseille counterpart Didier Deschamps replaced Brandao with Jordan Ayew in the 73rd minute but the Ghana forward produced an equally unimpressive performance.

Just when it looked as though Inter were going to keep a rare clean sheet, Andre Ayew popped up to head home a corner with the last move of the game.

Inter, who have lost six of their last seven games in all competitions, have failed to keep a clean sheet since they beat Serie A rivals AC Milan 1-0 on January 15.


Image: Olympique Marseille's Mathieu Valbuena (right) challenges Inter Milan midfielder Esteban Cambiasso
Photographs: Reuters

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