Matchday Musings: FC Basel 1-2 Chelsea
Victor Moses Takes The Stage
Chelsea’s Nigerian right-winger, Victor Moses, has taken Torres’s role by opening the scoring in the semi-finals of the Europa League. After Frank Lampard’s narrow miss on goal from a deflection, a corner kick was awarded, setting up Victor Moses. He was perfectly placed, only having to knock it in with his head after coming off of a Basel and Chelsea player in the mix. This was Moses’s third goal in the Europa competition after scoring twice against Rubin Kazan in the quarter-finals.
Switzerland Home Field Advantage
Gaining a first leg home field advantage, FC Basel was greeted by a full 38,000 plus fans hoping for an early lead. Tennis super star, Roger Federer, was among these fans rooting for his home team. Basel had just come off of a tight knit match against Tottenham ending in a 2-2 draw in both legs. After the loss today, they will face an extremely difficult match at Stamford Bridge for the second leg of the semi-finals.
The David Luiz Signature Free Kick
He has done it once again, the Brazilian defender sent a lobbed shot from outside the box to the bottom corner of the net giving Chelsea a last minute win. Shortly after a yellow card issued to Fabian Schar, David Luiz stepped up to take the free kick from about 25 yards. His shot went to the right of the Basel wall bouncing in front of the keeper and off of his gloves to the back of the net. Luiz is slowly making his way up the list for top scoring defender this season with his first of the Europa League and fifth in all competitions.
Basel Penalty Kick
Only three minutes shy of the end of regulation, Basel receives a penalty kick after a challenge by Cesar Azpilicueta. He was left shocked that a call was even made against him for it. The call was debated because the two players feet never came in contact with each other, only a knock by Cesar. Nevertheless, Fabian Schar came to take his shot and connected. A simple shot slightly to the left put the Swiss back in the match. Schar has scored 4 goals in his past 11 appearances during the Europa League.
A Torres Miss and the Return of Cole
Fernando Torres has been the top Chelsea scorer in the Europa League scoring four to date almost adding a fifth. His shot not only bounced off of the post, but the cross bar as well, finally landing in front of the line. Had he scored, Chelsea would be starting the second leg with a two goal advantage. Ashley Cole started for the first time since his injury in the FA Cup against Manchester City. Cole picked up a yellow card today in the 69th minute; he will miss the next match.