Basel take heart after Chelsea defeat
Friday, May 3, 2013
"We had a great campaign," said Yann Sommer as FC Basel 1893 bid farewell to the UEFA Europa League, with Marco Streller predicting Chelsea FC "will beat Benfica in the final".
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The FC Basel 1893 players were obviously disappointed to reach the end of their UEFA Europa League road with the 5-2 aggregate defeat by Chelsea FC, but there was pride in contesting their first European semi-final. "We have had a great campaign," said goalkeeper Yann Sommer as their focus turns to domestic matters.
Marco Streller, Basel forward
I don't know what happened in the second half. They scored with two counterattacks and then the third goal was amazing – after that we were dead. But the first half was very good. We had chances and Chelsea also had chances and in the end it's clear Chelsea are an amazing team and I think they will beat Benfica in the final.
What's the difference between a team like us and Chelsea – about 500 million! I think they are better in terms of individual skill and also in terms of experience. They have world-class players who are used to this type of game while for us it was our first time in the semi-finals – that was a key to Chelsea's win. We have had an amazing Europa League season and now we can focus on our own championship and the cup final in Switzerland.
Yann Sommer, Basel goalkeeper
I'm very proud of this team. We have had a great campaign. It's not often a Swiss side plays the semi-final of the Europa League – it's a big deal. We had great support today so it was a shame we couldn't get the right result.
We said at half-time that we should go out with confidence and play with good organisation but within 15 minutes they scored three times. This is too much – you can't allow that to happen against Chelsea or the other big teams. With two of the goals, Chelsea were maybe a little lucky that the ball was blocked and then fell back to them, and then this player next to me [gesticulates towards David Luiz] is incredible. Over the two games he scored twice against me and the goal here tonight was a wonderful goal. There is no doubt Chelsea's individual class is very high.
Fabian Frei, Basel midfielder
We're obviously disappointed but we can be proud of our season. We gave our all but those 15 minutes after half-time cost us. They played very well – the best team won. We must recover quickly because there's a championship to be won [in Switzerland].
Murat Yakin, Basel coach
In the second half we were caught cold but I have to credit my players – they played very well in the first half. We knew we had to score and the task of keeping a clean sheet here was always going to be a tough one. It all just slipped away from us too fast in the second period.
The team has grown, qualifying round by round – in this tie Chelsea were cleverer than we were and we paid for our inexperience. It's those little details that make the difference at this level. Chelsea are clever, experienced and know how to win things. I like to think my team has provided the perfect preparation for them in the final.
This was a great experience and it's new to us being involved in three competitions in May. Now we have to focus on the championship. When we went 3-1 down it was obvious we'd lost so I took off [Marco] Streller and [Valentin] Stocker with a view of resting them for the league.