UCL Recap: Basel shocks Liverpool, Welbeck hat-trick, more

IMAGE, FC BASEL WEBSITE

By MATTHEW LEVINE
Staff Writer

Liverpool narrowly won at Anfield against Ludogorets after a late Steven Gerrard penalty. That performance may have been a warning signal as they lost to Basel 1-0 in the return.

Basel is known for taking points off of English clubs. They knocked Manchester United out of the Champions League in 2011 as well as beating Chelsea last season.

Marco Strellar scored the lone goal in the 52nd minute. Taulant Xhaka‘s corner went goal wards off of Martin Skrtel forcing a fantastic save by Simon Mignolet. However, the Basel striker was the quickest to react for the winner.

Liverpool were frustrated throughout the night and will need to lift their performances in the Champions League. They get the other favorite in their group in Real Madrid next.

If they don’t start to lift their performances, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see Basel give Liverpool the same fate as it did to the Red Devils.

Other Champions League Results

1. Welbeck nets three against Galatasaray– Arsenal’s move for Danny Welback is paying off dividends. The English striker bagged a hat-trick in his second Champions League match for the Gunners. It was the first hat-trick since Nicklas Bendtner‘s on March 9th of 2010.

Alexis Sanchez picked out Welbeck for the first goal in the 22nd minute. Eight minutes later Welbeck had his second and finished his hat-trick in the 52nd minute.

Sanchez scored a goal of his own in the 41st minute after receiving a pass from Mesut Ozil.

Galatasaray struggled at the Emirates like so many Turkish sides before them, but pulled one goal back in the 63rd minute through the penalty spot. Wojciech Szczesny was sent off for a foul on Burak Yilmaz, who scored the penalty kick beating Arsenal second choice keeper David Ospina.

2. PSG takes down Barcelona– Paris St Germain recorded a victory in the Parc des Princes in a five goal thriller.

David Luiz started the scoring in the 10th minute, only for the lead to be cancelled out two minutes later through Lionel MessiMarco Verrati gave PSG  the lead once more in the 26th minute. Blaise Matuidi scored what would be the eventual winner in the 54th minute slotting home at the back post from Gregory van der Wiel‘s low cross.

Neymar pulled one back two minutes later after chesting the ball down and sending a ball to the far post that beat Salvatore Sirigu.

PSG now takes the top spot in Group F.

3. Ludogorets hangs tough with Real Madrid– Ludogorets has given two storied European squads scares, yet they have to settle for another loss in their inaugural trip to the Champions League group stage.

The minnows took the lead in surprising fashion in the 6th minute. After a corner deflected off of Sergio RamosMarcelhino headed in.

However, Real Madrid scored in either half to secure a victory that ended up much tougher than they would have anticipated. Cristiano Ronaldo was brought down by Cosmin Moti. Ronaldo scored the ensuing kick in the 34th minute.

Real had to sweat it out as they didn’t find a winner until the 77th minute. Karim Benzema volleyed home Marcelo‘s cross to give a second victory in Group B.

4. Totti scores first goal in England to draw Manchester City– While Manchester City got cute with banter on Twitter, they were punished on the pitch. Francisco Totti may have never scored in England previously, but he picked the right time to get his first.

His 23rd minute goal drew things level at 1-1, which the game finished at. Also, at the age of 38, he became the oldest Champions League goalscorer.

Sergio Aguero had given Manchester City through a 4th minute penalty kick. Aguero was taken down by Maicon, who scored the ensuing spot kick.

5.  Bayern not pretty, but effective– Bayern Munich have two goals in the group stage so far. They also have two wins. The German giants scored the lone goal in the game in the 22nd minute through a Thomas Muller penalty kick.

Mario Gotze was taken down by Mario Fernandes and Muller stepped up to take it. His effort from the spot kick wrong footed Igor Akinfeev, despite the striker’s stumble while making the kick.

That was all Bayern would need as they kept a clean sheet in Russia, despite the home side having several chances to find an equalizer.

6. And the rest– Chelsea ended Sporting Lisbon’s 16-match home unbeaten streak in European competition. Nemanja Matic‘s 34th minute header from a Cesc Fabregas free-kick. Matic’s goal, being a former Benfica player, will sting that much more for Sporting.

After an opening group stage loss, Atletico Madrid were looking to rebound. They did just that against Juventus. In the Vincente Calderon Stadium, which has been a fortress, Atleti one once more. Juanfran‘s cross was met at the back post by Arda Turan volleyed home in the 75th minute.

Sacha Kljestan was an unused substitute, but watched on from the bench as Borussia Dortmund won the match handily. Ciro Immobile found the back of the net in the 3rd minute and then second half substitute Adrian Ramos‘ brace sealed the victory. He scored ten minutes apart with the first coming in the 69th minute.

Bayer Leverkusen put three past Benfica, who have lost their first two games in the group stage. Steffan Kiessling scored in the 25th minute and nine minutes later the lead was doubled through Son Heung-Min, who set up the first goal. He finished off Karim Bellarabi‘s cross. Eduardo Salvio pulled one back in the 62nd minute, but the game was put away six minutes from time as Hakan Calhanoglu scored from a penalty kick.

Porto reversed a two-goal deficit in the game’s dying minutes against Shakhtar Donetsk. Substitute Jackson Martinez first scored from the penalty spot and the four minutes into stoppage time Christian Tello picked out Martinez to slot home. He cancelled out goals by Alex Teixera and Luiz Adriano, whose 85th minute appeared to seal the win.

Olympiakos were off to a dream start in their group stage with a win over Atletico Madrid, but fell back to Earth with a 2-0 loss to Malmo. Markus Rosenberg found the back of the net in either half to record the victory.

Two first half goals from BATE earned the home side a win over Athletic Bilbao. Denis Polyakov scored in the 19th minute and Aleksandr Karnitski scored four minutes from the halftime whistle. Aritz Arduiz pulled one back in the first half’s final minute, but the visitors could find an equalizer the remaining 45 minutes.

Ajax took an early lead against APOEL, but it was short lived. Lucas Andersen scored in the 28th minute. However, three minutes later the home side had the equalizer. After the ball came off Ricardo van Rhijn‘s hand, Gustavo Manduca stepped up to take the ensuing spot kick and beat Jasper Cillessen.

Maribor got a shock draw in Germany against Schalke. Damjan Bohar scored in the 37th minute to give the visitors the lead. However, Klass Jan-Huntelaar spoiled what would have been a famous win for Maribor. He intercepted a pass at the top of the Maribor box and fired a low drive with his right foot into the back of the net in the 56th minute.

Zenit and Monaco played to a scoreless draw in St. Petersburg. Both sides had chances, but had to settle for a draw.