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Spartak shake off Basel revival

FC Spartak Moskva 1-1 FC Basel 1893 (agg: 4-3)
Aiden McGeady's 91st-minute goal confirmed Spartak's place in the last 16, where they meet AFC Ajax, after the visitors had taken an early lead.

Spartak shake off Basel revival
Spartak shake off Basel revival ©UEFA.com

FC Spartak Moskva advanced to the UEFA Europa League round of 16 after a 1-1 draw in the Russian capital gave them a 4-3 aggregate victory over FC Basel 1893.

Trailing 3-2 after the first leg, the Swiss outfit had to score at least twice to have any chance of going through and Scott Chipperfield's strike set them on their way early in the first half. Despite enjoying plenty of second-half possession, the visitors rarely tested Andriy Dykan and Aiden McGeady put the result beyond doubt with his added-time equaliser. AFC Ajax await in the last 16.

Spartak started well as their fluid attacking trio of Dmitri Kombarov, McGeady and Artem Dzyuba caused problems with their pace and movement. However, it was the visitors who took the lead on 15 minutes when Dykan could only push a left-wing cross into the path of Chipperfield: the Australian international completed the simplest of tasks of directing the ball into an unguarded net.

The home side continued to create chances of their own, with McGeady having one effort cleared off the line. Spartak's dominance continued after the interval but their impressive interplay was less noticeable. Set to go through on away goals, Valeri Karpin's side were content to soak up Basel pressure and play on the counterattack.

Despite the introduction of Alexander Frei, who curled a late chance wide, Basel rarely looked like finding their vital second goal. Spartak spurned regular chances on the break late on before McGeady took the last of them, tapping in after Dzyuba had rounded Franco Costanzo.

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