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VIDEO: Salah and El-Nenny start as FC Basel humbled at home
In an extremely disappointing display from the Swiss champions, the first half carved out very few chances. The first 10 minutes were the best 10 minutes of the game for Basel, as well as Salah, who was subdued throughout. In the 3rd minute Salah almost grabbed an assist, with his eventual ball received by Degen, who missed miserably. 2 minutes later, Basel were 1-0 up, with Frei playing in Streller behind the Zurich defence to slot in a tidy finish. El-Nenny, who put in a relatively clean shift, almost had his first FC Basel goal in the 21st minute, with a distance shot missing the goal by about a foot. In the 23rd minute, Zurich managed to equalise through Rikan after some below par defending from FC Basel. It took until the 41st minute for another chance to come for Basel, with Frei almost grabbing a goal, however it was not to be. Both teams headed into the break all square at 1-1.
The second half started off slow, with FC Basel’s fans making all the noise in the stands, whilst the team were making no noise on the pitch. Salah almost had a penalty in the 52nd minute, when he was brought down in the box. The appeal to the referee fell on deaf ears though, as play resumed. In the 58th minute, the Basel defence were again caught napping when an FC Zurich player was able to square the ball to Gavranovic, who had an easy finish into an empty net from just outside the six yard box. The best chance of the half fell to Salah in the 63rd minute. After making a run down the wing, Streller managed to cut a ball back to the oncoming Salah, whose first time shot with his right foot was way off target.
El-Nenny almost cost his side a goal in the 71st minute, after playing a quick free-kick straight to an FC Zurich player, who released a counter. The resulting cross cannoned off the upright, but was not converted. El-Nenny was subbed a couple of minutes later, replaced by Andrist in the 73rd minute. The match ended 2-1, with Basel showing a big lack of urgency in looking for an equaliser.
The loss puts the reigning Swiss champions down to 4th spot in the standings, with only 8 points from 5 games, 7 points off current leaders Young Boys at the end of round 5. Definitely a day to forget for Basel, and it’s Egyptians, who come up against BSC Old Boys in a cup fixture away from home on Saturday.