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VIDEO: Basel lose 1-0 to Real Madrid as both Egyptians feature
Basel hosted Champions League holders Real Madrid at St. Jacobs Park in the 5th round of the group stages. The two sides in the competition’s opening round where the Swiss Champions were delivered a thrashing at the Santiago Bernabéu, losing 5-1.
After winning all of their previous four games, the visitors went into the game having already secured qualification to the competition’s round of 16. Basel, on the other hand, were second in the group with six points from two games. Liverpool and Ludugorets were 3rd and 4th respectively, both on three points and only separated by goal difference.
Mohamed El-Nenny started for the Swiss side while Ahmed Hamoudi had to settle for a spot on the bench. This game recorded El-Nenny’s 5th consecutive Champions League start while Hamoudi was only included in the starting line-up once before.
The game kicked-off with Los Blancos unsurprisingly dominating while FC Basel were content to sit back and attack on the counter. The visitors were struggling to break down the Swiss outfit’s resilient defense who were also unable to pose a real threat.
Following a very brief spell of dominance for the home team that left them short of men at the back, Real Madrid were able to find the back of the net. Karim Benzema dribbled down the left flank, into the box, and cut back to Cristiano Ronaldo who effortlessly applied the finish.
The second half was much more open as FC Basel pushed for the equalizer. The home side were apparently given orders to play a more attacking game as they held a substantially bigger portion of the ball while not shying away from going forward in larger numbers.
Hamoudi was brought on with 10 minutes to go in an attempt from FC Basel Manager, Paulo Sousa, to add a creative spark to his attack. The 24-year-old was able to pose a major threat to Kaylor Navas. He had a first shot directly after stepping onto the pitch that went inches wide from Keylor’s left post while trying to curl another in the final minutes of the game from inside of the box that again went inches wide from Navas’ right side.
FC Basel will take a trip to Anfield on the 9th of December in their last group stage game, a win or draw there should secure qualification to the next round.
(Photos: Sacha Grossenbacher, Uwe Zinke and Jan Zinke)