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Chelsea stunned by Basle

18 Sep 2013 23:47:00

Chelsea stunned by Basle

Jose Mourinho's Chelsea were beaten 2-1 in their Champions League Group E opener as Basle deservedly triumphed at Stamford Bridge.

Six years to the day since his most recent Champions League match as Chelsea boss, a draw with Rosenberg which marked the end of his first spell in charge, Mourinho suffered a second successive loss as the Swiss side claimed a first win in England at the 11th attempt.

Goals from Mohamed Salah and Marco Streller, after Oscar had put Chelsea in front, also saw Basle end the Blues' 13-match unbeaten run at home in European competition.

The last time Chelsea lost a Champions League group match at Stamford Bridge was against Besiktas on October 1, 2003, and Basle thoroughly merited being the team who brought the near 10-year, 29-match run to an end.

Chelsea suffered the ignominy of becoming the first holders to exit the tournament at the group stage last term and Mourinho sought to temper expectations on the eve of the match by highlighting the youth in his squad with an egg metaphor which rekindled memories of his displeasure in September 2007.

But, despite his comments, the self-proclaimed Special One cannot have expected such a limp performance against a team despatched 5-2 on aggregate in the Europa League semi-finals by Rafael Benitez's Blues earlier this year.

A glaze was brushed over a lacklustre opening 45 minutes when Oscar finished off a move which David Luiz started as Mourinho's men finally broke the Swiss resistance before the interval.

Oscar hit the bar before Basle equalised with 19 minutes remaining through Mohamed Salah, who scored on the May visit to Stamford Bridge.

Mourinho has no interest in playing in the Europa League, but Streller's header, capitalising on uncharacteristically poor defending at a corner, means the a place in the second-tier continental competition could await the Blues unless they can revive their European ambitions.

Next on October 1 Chelsea play Steaua Bucharest, who beat them in Romania earlier this year, before two matches with Schalke.


PA

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