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UEFA Europa League
March 13, 2014
• St. Jakob-Park, Basel
Referee: O. Hațegan
• Attendance: 17027
I'm Alex Moretto and I'd like to thank you all for joining me here today. Come back next week for the wide-open return fixture in Austria. Good bye!
FULL-TIME: BASEL 0-0 SALZBURG. After a thrilling first half, the game began to fizzle out as it went on. Basel will likely have wanted to win the match, but they will take pride in holding Salzburg without a goal on the road for the first time since October 28, 2012. Both teams had their chances, with a draw likely the fairest result here tonight.
90' + 3'
The final seconds are being run off the clock here by substitutions. Neither team looks keen on finding a late equalizer as we enter the fourth minute of stoppage time here.
90' + 2'
Giovanni-Guy Yann Sio
90' + 1'
90' + 1'
Salzburg make their final change as well, as striker Valentin Lazaro comes on for Kevin Kampl.
G. Serey Die
Three minutes of added time to be played here.
Basel make a substitution now as Serey Die comes off for Embolo, who makes his first appearance in a European competition.
Salzburg are back in now and Soriano is played through, but his effort is horrendous as it weakly soars over the crossbar.
GREAT SAVES AT BOTH ENDS! First Sery Die picks up the ball outside the Salzburg box and hits a low, driven shot that Gulasci gets down well to save. Back the other way come the visitors and Valon Berisha smacks a shot destined for the top corner with his first touch of the match. Sommer flies through the air to make a one handed stop, turning it out for a corner.
Salzburg are trying to get some fresh legs on attack now as they search for an equalizer. Robert Zulj comes off for Norwegian striker Valon Berisha.
Yellow Card Philipp Degen
Philipp Degen is shown a yellow card now, the sixth one handed out this match, for his reaction after conceding a foul. The Romanian referee was none too pleased with questioning of Degen.
Basel generate some of their first pressure of the half late on here. El Nenny's cross is clever, but Gulasci just manages to punch it away. Philipp Degen picks up the lose ball and breaks into the box. He can't pick out a teammate with his cross however, and the pressure is cleared.
Play resumes with Ajeti on the sidelines. Serey Die works himself into space along the right, and tries to pick out Sio who makes a nice run. Hinteregger is there however to make a nice interception and Salzburg are back in attack.
Stoppage in play now as Ajeti is down in pain. There was no Salzburg player within 10 feet of him when he went to ground, so it could be something he picked up earlier. Trainers are out attending to him now.
Basel are struggling to create anything in attack. They are passing it around well in midfield, but lack quality as it's worked further up the pitch.
Great ball movement from Salzburg! Kevin Kampl is the engineer of this attack. A nice run from him allows him behind the defence. He picks out Zulj in the box, but the ball gets stuck in the feet of the striker and he can't turn it in from close range.
Matias Emilio Delgado
Mohamed El Nenny
The ensuing free kick is flicked on by David Degen and cleared, but only as far as Stocker. He picks out Philipp Degen along the right. He cuts in, but his left-footed shot disappointingly trickles wide. The stoppage allows Basel to make their first substitution.
Yellow Card Florian Klein
Free kick to Basel now as David Degen is taken down by Florian Klein. The substitute is shown a yellow card.
The visitors continue to apply the pressure here! A corner is defended well, but Leitgeb is back in possession. He charges up the right and tries to cross into the mass of bodies. Stocker tracks back well, however, and blocks the cross. The second corner isn't attacked at all by Salzburg, and Philipp Degen clears.
Vital intervention from Savro! Mane is played in and has Soriano to his right, with Savro the only defender back. Mane elects not to take the open look on goal, instead passing it for Soriano, but the Argentinian center-back breaks up the move with a crucial sliding challenge! What a chance that was for the visitors.
More good passing from Salzburg as Zulj gains possession at the top of the box. He tries to thread it through but Suchy intercepts again. Salzburg just starting to take over a bit here.
Sio concedes a free kick after a foul on Ramalho. The Brazilian lofts it into the box from inside his own half. Zulj flicks his header on for Soriano, but Suchy intercepts well and clears the danger.
STAT ATTACK: Salzburg have scored at least three goals in each of their last ten games in all competitions. They have 47 goals in that span, averaging close to five per game.
Free kick awarded to Salzburg from 40 yards out. Kampl again the one to take it, but Basel win the header, as they have on almost every occasion so far tonight, taking advantage of Salzburg's lack of size on attack.
Basel keeping possession well through the opening stages of this half, but can't seem to do much with it. Salzburg are creating more with limited possession. Delgado has been merely a spectator for Basel thus far at striker.
Serey Die eludes Kampl and lays it off for Degen, who has options in the middle. He can't pick out a teammate in the middle, and Salzburg break. Soriano tries a forced shot from distance, but Sommer catches it easily.
STAT ATTACK: Basel have just one win from their last five in all competitions, but are in the midst of a 10-match unbeaten run, having not lost a competitive match since December 11, a 2-0 defeat away to Schalke in their final Champions League group stage match.
Serey Die seemingly can't be dispossessed when he has the ball. More great footwork from him keeps Basel in possession, and it's worked forward for Sio. The Ivorian can't pick out David Degen as the ball rolls out for a Salzburg throw.
Soriano finally makes his presence felt, for the first time in this match. A bit of luck falls his way as a ball deflects back into his path. He breaks into the box but some Ajeti just does enough defensively to win the challenge and a goal kick.
Salzburg kick-off and we're back underway! One substitution to tell you about as Christian Schwelger comes off after picking up an injury in the first half. Florian Klein is the one to replace him.
The players are making their way back onto the pitch as we get set for the second half. Plenty of boos sound as the visitors are late coming onto the pitch.
STAT ATTACK: Basel reached the semi-finals in this competition last season before losing to Chelsea, their best ever finish in the Europa League.
HALF-TIME: BASEL 0-0 SALZBURG. Both teams have had their chances, but some solid goalkeeping and perhaps a lack of quality in front of goal at times has kept this one scoreless through the opening 45 minutes. Neither side is backing down from the challenge, which has made for an exciting and fiercely contested first half.
45' + 2'
Basel retain possession well, as David Degen and Delgado work a give-and-go along the left. Ilsanker tracks the run wonderfully though and clears the danger. That's the last of the action as the referee sounds the half-time whistle.
Two minutes of added time as signaled by the referee's assistant...
Slight delay now as play is stopped with Philipp Degen down and grabbing his leg after being kicked by Leitgeb. The referee didn't see the challenge, however, and awards Salzburg the ball, much to the dismay of Murat Yakin who was standing right there on the touchline.
Stocker gets it at the top of the box now ad dances into the are, but Ilsanker is there to sniff out the danger as his firm challenge dispossesses the shifty Stocker. The ball comes back in to the captain however, and this time he cuts around a defender before having a shot that Gulasci gets down well to save with his feet before the rebound is cleared.
The two teams look a little tired as we approach half-time. The match has had such a lively pace through the first 35 minutes, as the back and forth is starting to show its effects on the players.
STAT ATTACK: Salzburg are the highest scoring side in the competition this season with 21 goals.
Mane continuing to ask questions of the Basel defence. Philipp Degen is caught out of position as the Senegal international races into the box and beats Suchy yet again with ease, but opts to try and pass it off for Soriano instead of having a shot from in close. The pass is behind the Spaniard, and he can't get a good shot off as it's blocked and cleared.
SIO NEARLY WITH THE OPENER! Great passing from Basel as they pick apart the Salzburg defence. David Degen picks out Delgado at the top of the box, who sends in Philipp Degen. The right-backs cross in for Sio is perfect, but the Ivorian glances his header just over the bar. Glorious opportunity for the hosts!
Schwelger returns to the pitch now as Basel slowly begin to assert their will on the match. Serey Die is looking increasingly dangerous along the right, as Leitgeb and Svento struggle to deal with his pace and elegant dribbling.
Stocker now using his pace to get into a dangerous area. As he looks to play it into the box, he's defended superbly by Hinteregger who uses his strength to slow down Stocker, with the ball eventually rolling out for a goal kick.
The delay is finally over as the stretcher comes onto the field, but Schwelger walks off under his own power. Klein is up and running on the sidelines in case a substitution is deemed necessary.
Serey Die shows some excellent pace as he beats two defenders before being dragged down from behind by Leitgeb. The ensuing free-kick is lofted into the box, but a foul is awarded as Suchy goes flying into the back of Schwelger's head.
Yellow Card Giovanni-Guy Yann Sio
Schwelger concedes a foul now as he can't deal with the hard work of David Degen along the left. The free kick is taken just outside the box, by the touchline. It's eventually lofted in for Sio who tries an overhead kick but end up connecting with the face of Ilsanker who is down and in significant pain as the referee awards a free kick to the visitors and a yellow card to the Ivorian.
Mane gets up and kicks the ground, a rather boisterous reaction that could have earned him a second yellow. He'll have to be careful here.
Yellow Card Sadio Mané
Another players finds himself booked now, as Saido Mane is shown a yellow for simulation. The Senegal international breaks into the box after receiving a pass and looks to have Suchy beaten before falling to the ground in search of a penalty. There was no contact, so the card is warranted, but Mane had a clear look at goal before he shockingly decided to fall to ground.
Great save Sommer! Kevin Kampl nearly has the opener for Salzburg, as he dribbles by David Degen far too easily at the top of the box before trying for a shot at the near post that Sommer gets down well to palm out for a corner. Salzburg asking plenty of questions in the early stages.
The free kick is smashed straight into the wall and Salzburg move out with pace. After a long ball forward for Mane, the visitors manage to keep possession and Svento is picked out at the top of the box. He tries a left-footed strike but it rolls wide of the far post.
Serey Die and Martin Hinteregger both find themselves in the referee's book now, as they come together after a collision. Both players will miss the next match, but more importantly, Basel have a free kick in a threatening position.
Yellow Card Martin Hinteregger
Yellow Card G. Serey Die
Lovely movement from Salzburg as they work the ball up the pitch. Zulj picks out Svento inside the left of the box, and the Slovakian cuts to his right and tries to curl it inside the far post but Sommer is up to the task and able to hold on.
STAT ATTACK: Jonathan Soriano is the top scorer in this season’s Europa League thus far, with seven goals, despite having played only 397 of a possible 720 minutes.
Mane wins a foul now, causing all sorts of problems for Basel early on, this time it's Philipp Degen who takes him down. Kampl plays it short to Soriano who threads it through for Svento on a nice designed play, but his cross is blocked and out for a corner that Basel deal with quite easily.
Mane with an effort now off a header, but Sommer dives to his left to make a comfortable stop. The original ball crossed in by Zulj was impressive as he picked out Mane in the box, but he just couldn't get the power behind his header.
Abysmal effort from Delgado! Stocker shows great pace and nifty footwork as he dribbles by two defenders before playing Delgado in along the left. The Argentinian tries to hit it first time, but his left-footed effort sails well over the bar. Wasted opportunity there from the hosts.
Play resumes as Degen receives treatment to his wounds. Salzburg take advantage of the man advantage and win a corner. It's played short for Mane, who gets by a couple of defenders before his final ball fails him, allowing Basel to clear.
The ensuing corner is collected well by Sommer, and Basel try and break. David Degen is toppled over on the sidelines and comes up with cuts all over his hands as he fell into the advertisements along the touch-line.
Delightful save by Sommer! Salzburg win a free kick in the attacking half, crossed in by Kevin Kampl and met by Ilsanker who forces a diving stop from the Swiss keeper.
Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan sounds his whistle as Basel kick-off and get us underway here at St. Jacob's Park! The home side are wearing their blue and red kits, moving left to right, while Salzburg are sporting their white shirts with red shorts.
STAT ATTACK: Swiss sides are on a nine match unbeaten run in home games against Austrian opposition (W6 D3), with their last loss coming in October 1990, when Admira Wacker defeated FC Luzern 1-0. However, Basel and Salzburg are meeting for the first time in European competition.
Roger Scmidt has his hand forced as well. Salzburg started the same XI in both matches against Ajax in the round of 32, but injuries to Ulmer and Alan mean they will miss the match. Slovakian Dusan Svento slots in at left-back in place of Ulmer, while 22-year-old Austrian Robert Zulj slots in at striker in place of Alan, making his first Europa League start this season.
Basel manager Murat Yakin has instilled a few changes into his starting XI from their 3-0 victory over Maccabi Tel Aviv on the last matchday. Behrang Safari is not available, as he is replaced by David Degen on the left. Mohamed El Nanny starts the game on the bench, while Marco Streller is also unavailable as they are replaced by Matias Delgado and Giovanni Sio up top, both of whom started in the first leg against the Israeli opponents.
SALZBURG SUBS: Berisha, Hierlander, Klein, Lazaro, Meilinger, Rodnei, Walke.
SALZBURG XI (4-4-2): Gulasci; Schwelger, Ramalho, Hinteregger, Svento; Kampl, Ilsanker, Leitgeb, Mane; Soriano, Zulj.
BASEL SUBS: Albian Ajeti, Aliji, Dunki, El Nenny, Embolo, Seferagic, Vailati.
BASEL XI (4-4-2): Sommer; P. Degen, Sauro, Suchy, Ajeti; Serey Die, Frei, Stocker, D. Degen; Delgado, Sio.
The teams have been announced, so let's have ourselves a look at today's starting line-ups:
Salzburg are riding high as they enter tonight's match, having set a Europa League record by winning eight consecutive matches (six group stage and two in the round of 32) to start the competition. They'll be looking to make it a ninth consecutive victory in the competition in Switzerland tonight.
Basel entered the competition after finishing third in their Champions League group, despite beating group winners Chelsea both times. The Swiss outfit defeated Maccabi Tel Aviv in the previous round by a 3-0 aggregate score, and will be looking to continue their impressive play in European competition, while improving on last year's semi-final appearance.
Something's got to give! That's the motto for tonight's Europa League clash between FC Basel and Red Bull Salzburg at St. Jacob's Park in Switzerland. Both teams enter the match carrying impressive streaks, with Salzburg having won 16 straight in all competitions and Basel in the midst of a 10 match unbeaten run in competitive matches. One of those will come to an end today, so sit back and enjoy the action. I'm Alex Moretto and I'll be your in-game host, guiding you through the match LIVE as it happens!
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