Round of 16 Conference League – Basel only loses 1:2 against dominant Marseille – Sport

  • FC Basel lost 2-1 to Olympique Marseille in the first leg of the Conference League round of 16.
  • Combative Basler remain largely without a chance away, Sebastiano Esposito scores the lucky goal.
  • This means that the last Swiss team remaining in a European competition still has a good chance for next week’s second leg.

Only in the last 10 minutes did FCB regain hope. With a score of 0:2 and a clear inferiority, Sebastiano Esposito actually managed a lucky punch. The 19-year-old Italian scored the goal in a commanding manner (80′) after being launched wonderfully by Wouter Burger.

After this goal against the course of the game, the Baslers felt some momentum for the first time in this game. The compensation, which would have been too flattering, was no longer successful. First Marseille goalie Steve Mandanda prevented an own goal in extremis, then Tomas Tavares hesitated too long in the opposing penalty area.

Milik shines as a double goal scorer

Before this final phase, the guests had experienced a depressing evening. Attack after attack rolled towards their goal, with just under 30 percent ball possession, they hardly had time to catch their breath. Olympique Marseille remained tenacious, even when goalkeeper Heinz Lindner saved, even when a Basler was able to save more than once on the line.

Cengiz Ünder set a first big exclamation mark, whose shot hit the post after a quick attack (8th). After a corner kick, things became dangerous again in front of the Basel goal: In a tumult, Andy Pelmard chased after Mattéo Guendouzi, who had the ball, and hit him in the head with his boisterous entry. Arkadiusz Milik converted the penalty due very coolly with a shot in the middle to make it 1-0 (19th).

Marseille also dominated the game in the aftermath, with the guests only Dan Ndoye providing a sign of life twice before the Esposito goal:

  • 32 minutes: When all the Olympique players were already thinking that offside would be called, the Baslers continued to play happily. The ball comes to Ndoye, who only shoots into the side netting from a tight angle.
  • 45 minutes: The 21-year-old winger pulls from the edge of the penalty area, Marseille goalie Mandanda has to intervene for the first time and clears for a corner kick.

In the second half, harmless Basel players didn’t do much for a long time apart from self-sacrificing defensive work, but one of many French attacks was successful in the 68th minute to make it 2-0: After a quick attack, Lindner let it bounce off and Milik supplied the ball in the follow-up shot unsustainable in the mesh.

It was fortunate that FCB only lost 2-1 in the end. In order not to fail in the round of 16 in the third-rate competition, FCB will have to improve in the second leg in a week’s time at St. Jakob-Park against strong opponents from Ligue 1.

The FCB players are optimistic. For example, Noah Katterbach said after the game: “The 1: 2 is a great result for us. At home, with our fans behind us, we can then try to decide the duel for ourselves and move into the quarter-finals.”