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Brilliant Basel stun Roma

AS Roma 1-3 FC Basel 1893
Superb first-half goals from Alexander Frei and Samuel Inkoom plus another in added time from Cabral gave Basel their first group stage win since 2003.

Brilliant Basel stun Roma
Brilliant Basel stun Roma ©UEFA.com

Goals by Alexander Frei, Samuel Inkoom and Cabral earned FC Basel 1893 a memorable away victory against AS Roma and their first Group E points.

Although Marco Borriello cancelled out Frei's opener with a well-taken goal on 21 minutes and Rodrigo Taddei struck the woodwork after the break, the visitors proved more clinical in front of goal. Inkoom's powerful drive kept Basel's noses in front until substitute Cabral made sure of his side's first UEFA Champions League win since 2003.

The visitors took the lead on 12 minutes courtesy of a fine team move that began deep in their own half. Gilles Yapi spread the play to Xherdan Shaqiri and he picked out Marco Streller from the right, with the Switzerland striker's cushioned header then met beautifully by Frei, who fired in from 14 metres.

The hosts had hitherto enjoyed most of the possession, Borriello firing a warning shot over, and the striker did not have long to wait for his next chance as Francesco Totti showed majestic skill and vision to play him through with a first-time pass from deep within his own half. Borriello kept his composure to draw Franco Costanzo out and clipped the ball adroitly into the net.

Roma were re-energised and Taddei continued his good work down the right, supported by the free-running Marco Cassetti. Totti was then twice unfortunate not to score his first of the season: firstly when, on 37 minutes, he beat Yapi, cut inside and shot just wide of the far post with his left foot. Just after the restart, another venomous shot with the outside of his boot swerved narrowly off target.

By then, however, the Giallorossi were behind again, Basel having reclaimed the lead on 44 minutes via another fantastic strike. Inkoom was too quick for Simone Perrotta, and after latching onto Shaqiri's clever angled pass he whizzed an unstoppable low effort past the helpless Bogdan Lobonţ.

Roma stepped up the tempo, keeping the visitors pegged back in their own half as they strove for an equaliser. Taddei's fizzing effort came back off a post and, in their next attack, neither Borriello nor Nicolás Burdisso could quite scramble Totti's header across goal over the line.

Both sides also missed presentable headed opportunities, Benjamin Huggel nodding centimetres wide and Roma duo Matteo Brighi and Philippe Mexès powering over. With a minute to go, Totti's driven free-kick was well saved by Costanzo, but the coup de grâce was left to Cabral, who sneaked though to score at the end and take his side level on points with Roma and CFR 1907 Cluj.