(Translated by Thomas Snaith)
The final result was as fair as it can get; the Londoners deserved to walk away with 3 points in their second UEFA Champions League, group stage fixture. For 90 minutes, Arsenal were the more dangerous and dominant side. FC Basel´s performance at Arsenal Stadium was harmless compared to the home team´s quick and slick direct passing, destroying FCB´s defense. Within 26 minutes Alexis Sanchez delivered two assists to Theo Walcott, resulting in two goals.
It was Tomas Vaclik who made sure the result stayed at 2:0 during the first half. Basel´s keeper saved two attempts on goal by Alexis Sanchez (33. And 38.) as well as a one on one attempt by Hictor Bellerin. The game was less one sided in the second half; Basel attacked and created several chances, but Vaclic was still essential to prevent further damage.
Strong Ospina against Bjarnason and Sporar
Arsenal keeper David Ospina was needed in the second half; Birkir Bjarnason attempted a long range belter, an hour into the game and Andraz Sporar also put Ospina to the test.
It is evident that FC Basel did not perform well during the first half of this difficult game against Arsenal, or Arsenal was simply too strong for the visiting team, who played a 5-3-2 formation. “You need to take risks in games like these, if you want to win. We played with three nominated defenders against Fiorentina last year. I want to underline that the system we played has nothing to do with not playing brave football but has to do with the belief that this was the system we thought was best, against a strong Arsenal.”, stated Urs Fischer.
Great support from the stands
Not only Basel´s performance in the second half was impressive, but also the continuous support of the 2000 fans who made their way from Basel to London. They supported their team until the the game was over and contributed to a great atmosphere at Arsenal stadium. Basel as well as Arsenal contributed to a dynamic game in the second half, however Arsenal contributed more to the game over the full 90 minutes. Deserved victory for Arsenal FC.
Arsenal FC – FC Basel 1893 2:0 (2:0)
Arsenal Stadium. – 59‘600 Supporters. – Officials Danny Makkelie (Netherlands).
Goals: 7. Walcott 1:0 (Sanchez). 26. Walcott 2:0 (Sanchez).
AFC: Ospina; Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal (75. Gibbs); Santi Cazorla, Xhaka; Walcott (70. Oxlade-Chamberlain), Özil, Iwobi (70. Elneny); Alexis Sanchez.
FCB: Vaclik; Lang, Suchy, Xhaka, Balanta, Traoré; Bjarnason (79. Delgado), Zuffi (70. Elyounoussi), Fransson; Doumbia (57. Sporar), Steffen.
Notes: AFC without Coquelin, Mertesacker, Ramsey, Welbeck (all injured) and Giroud (suspended). FCB without Akanji, Janko (both injured) and Serey Die (sickness). Substitutes FCB: Callà, Delgado, Elyounoussi, Gaber, Hoegh, Sporar und Vailati. – Yellow Cards: 21. Suchy (Foul). 85. Elyounoussi (Foul).