Ligue 1 strugglers RC Strasbourg got their UEFA Cup group campaign off to a flying start with a surprise 2-0 away win against ten-man FC Basel 1893.
The Swiss champions were outplayed by their opponents from down the River Rhine at St. Jakob-Park and were already two behind when Patrick Müller was sent off for pulling down Amara Diané in the 33rd minute. Diané had given Strasbourg a 14th-minute lead before fellow Ivorian Arthur Boka scored a second ten minutes later.
Christian Gross's side came into the game brimming with confidence but they were soon struggling to contain a team still to win a game in Ligue 1 this season. The French League Cup winners created their first opportunity for Mickaël Pagis after seven minutes and Guillaume Lacour and Diané also spurned chances. Basel had a let-off when Alexander Farnerud struck the post after 12 minutes but they were soon punished as Diane headed Boka's cross firmly past Pascal Zuberbühler.
Matías Delgado curled a free-kick over for Basel but they fell further behind when Boka's fierce free-kick was deflected past Zuberbühler. The lively Diané could have made it three when he raced on to a long ball but failed to make decent contact and another break moments later resulted in him being hauled down by Müller. English referee Mark Halsey had no hesitation in producing the red card.
Barring chances for Delgado and Brazilian striker Eduardo, Basel produced little and their frustration began to show early in the second half. Diané twice went close as he clipped the post from a Farnerud cross and headed straight at Zuberbühler. Delgado could have brought the game back to life 14 minutes from time but Stéphane Cassard produced a fine save and Strasbourg held on.
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