FC Basel moved five points clear at the top of the Swiss Nationalliga A table after Hervé Tum's late goal gave them a 1-0 win over FC Luzern in the final round of matches before the winter break.
The top eight teams will now play in the final championship round to decide the eventual league winners, while the bottom four clubs will fight it out with the top teams in the Nationalliga B to finalise the relegation and promotion issues.
Tum on target
Basel tightened up their defence after conceding five goals in a thrilling 5-4 defeat to Grasshopper-Club in Zürich last week, but failed to impress against rock-bottom FC Luzern. It took until the 85th minute for them to breach the home side's defence when Tum slotted the ball into the net to spare Basel's blushes.
Grasshoppers bounce back
Grasshoppers bounced back from their UEFA Cup exit against Leeds United AFC to move up to third, with a 4-1 victory over Neuchâtel Xamax FC. Pascal Castillo's 16th-minute strike provided the perfect start for the home side but they were forced to wait until the second period before adding to their tally. Roland Schwegler claimed two goals and Stéphane Chapuisat one, in the last 21 minutes of the game, making Alex Tachie-Mensiah's 75th-minute goal irrelevant.
The defeat leaves Neuchâtel in tenth place with 25 points and they, along with Lausanne-Sports, Luzern and FC Aarau will play in the promotion/relegation round when the Swiss season resumes.
FC Lugano moved into second place after a narrow 1-0 win over Aarau, Sergio Bastida scoring the only goal of the game two minutes after the restart. FC St. Gallen slipped down to fourth after Gürkan Sermeter's 90th-minute penalty gave BSC Young Boys a 1-0 win.
Servette FC drew 1-1 with Lausanne as Alexander Frei's goal cancelled out Loic Chavériat 's early opener for the visitors. Feliciano Magro scored the only goal of the game as FC Zürich overcame FC Sion 1-0.
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