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Stocker secures Basel narrow lead over Bayern

Published: Wednesday 22 February 2012, 22.54CET
FC Basel 1893 1-0 FC Bayern München
Substitute Valentin Stocker's strike four minutes from time earned a famous first-leg victory for the hosts, who also struck the woodwork twice.
by Andy James
from St. Jakob-Park
Published: Wednesday 22 February 2012, 22.54CET

Stocker secures Basel narrow lead over Bayern

FC Basel 1893 1-0 FC Bayern München
Substitute Valentin Stocker's strike four minutes from time earned a famous first-leg victory for the hosts, who also struck the woodwork twice.

A late strike from substitute Valentin Stocker gave FC Basel 1893 a priceless 1-0 advantage in their UEFA Champions League round of 16 tie against FC Bayern München.

Bayern began with purpose but the Swiss hosts responded with equal endeavour and twice hit the woodwork in the opening period. Chances became more and more scarce yet as the visitors grew ever more stagnant, Basel were able to take advantage four minutes from time through Stocker. Having avoided conceding an away goal, Bebbi will head to Munich for the second leg on 13 March confident of causing another upset.

Following a series of below-par performances in the Bundesliga, Bayern needed a reaction and their eagerness was evident in the early stages. Just two minutes had elapsed when Franck Ribéry played in Mario Gomez, but the angle created by the striker's touch around goalkeeper Yann Sommer made finishing impossible.

As Bayern stroked the ball from one flank to the other, Ribéry twice had an opportunity to open the scoring himself within the opening quarter of an hour but was denied by Sommer on both occasions. First the French international was foiled at the near post after controlling Arjen Robben's chip, before again being thwarted by the Basel No1 from Philipp Lahm's pass.

Basel were content to let the visitors control possession, but when they did get the chance to counter the danger felt imminent. Indeed, the hosts struck the goal frame twice in the space of two first-half minutes. Aleksandar Dragović had a header pushed onto the post by Manuel Neuer, who was then helpless as Alexander Frei fired against the bar moments later.

David Alaba and Gomez each tested Sommer from range, but as the interval drew closer Bayern's approach play became increasingly laborious and their movement predictable. Robben's efforts on the right were commendable as he sought to justify his restoration to the side, yet the winger lacked the inspiration which made him such a goal threat in last season's competition.

Marco Streller managed the first effort on target in the second half when he headed harmlessly into Neuer's arms, and it was some time before either goalkeeper was troubled again. Toni Kroos and Alaba were both off target with long shots, while Gomez's overhead attempt from a deflected free-kick was straightforward for Sommer. Lahm had the Basel custodian scrambling after cutting in from the left, but again his strike was palmed away.

Bayern boss Jupp Heynckes introduced Thomas Müller for Ribéry late on and the Germany forward quickly played in Gomez, whose angled finish was again parried by the excellent Sommer. It proved to be a false dawn for the away side, and with full time on the horizon Basel struck the killer blow. Substitutes Jacques Zoua, on three minutes earlier, and Stocker combined, with the latter slotting past Neuer to put the Swiss side in the box seat.

Last updated: 25/09/14 6.33CET

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