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Basel back in the groove

Published: Thursday 8 September 2005, 10.12CET
Monthly review: Champions FC Basel 1893 lead as the new Swiss Football League season takes shape, but four sides are still in touch at the top.
by Marco Keller

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Published: Thursday 8 September 2005, 10.12CET

Basel back in the groove

Monthly review: Champions FC Basel 1893 lead as the new Swiss Football League season takes shape, but four sides are still in touch at the top.
Champions FC Basel 1893 lead the way as the new Swiss season takes shape, although four teams remain in touch at the top.

Three-point lead
After seven rounds, Christian Gross's side have 16 points, three more than FC Zürich, Grasshopper-Club, BSC Young Boys and FC Thun. Having drawn 3-3 at FC St. Gallen, Basel produced two dominant displays at St. Jakob-Park, defeating FC Aarau 7-2 and Neuchâtel Xamax FC 3-0.

Giménez departure
Such successes are all the more impressive as Basel have suffered a number of setbacks, not least the defeat by Werder Bremen in the UEFA Champions League third qualifying round. Furthermore, star striker Christian Giménez left for Olympique de Marseille under a cloud after refusing to play against Bremen because of his impending move to Ligue 1. "We only want players whose hearts are with us 100 per cent," said a Basel satement.

Back to Brazil
Days later, Brazilian defender Kleber asked to be released from his contract to return home as his pregnant wife was seriously ill. These events, however, have hardly impacted on Basel's league form, which has brought 18 goals in seven outings and just one defeat, a 3-0 reverse at Thun in the second round.

Thun threat
Having unexpectedly reached the Champions League group stage, Thun have impressed at home too, beating Grasshoppers and Xamax in successive weeks. Those wins were followed by a 2-0 loss to promoted FC Yverdon-Sports, who having taken just one point from six matches, replaced coach Radu Nunweiller with Roberto Morinini, and the new man's reign began in style with the scalp of Thun.

Yverdon bottom
Urs Schönenberger's side occupy fifth spot on 13 points, level with Zürich, Grasshoppers and Young Boys, who all took six points in the last month. At the bottom, Yverdon stay tenth and last, below Xamax on goal difference.

Last updated: 08/09/05 20.29CET

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