(Translated by Thomas Snaith)
Before the game:
Raphael Wicky played a barely unchanged team, compared to the team he chose to play against rivals FC Zurich last Saturday. One change was made: Raoul Petretta replaced Blas Riveros. From a Swiss perspective, it was interesting to see that Swiss international Haris Seferovic was only on the bench as the game kicked off. St. Jakob-Park attracted a big crowd for the 1st UCL home fixture of this campaign.
The first half:
FCB had a perfect start to a magical night. Two minutes after kick-off, Renato Steffen launched Dimitri Oberlin towards goal, who failed to beat keeper Júlio César. César blocked the shot, Oberlin took advantage, crossed to Lang who placed the ball in the back of the net. It was Oberlin who scored the 2nd: He cleared a corner kick in his own box, using his head; passed the ball to Steffen, then sprinted the entire length of the pitch, where Steffen´s perfect pass re-united with Oberlin, who scored…through Júlio César´s legs…. 2:0!
FCB only had 38% ball possession in the 1st half, but when they won the ball, the were on fire! Benfica created a few good chances but were unable to create that much danger. It was a positive 1st half, Wicky stated:” After the 2:0 I thought: this game is going to last a really long time”….since no one has ever won a Champions Leagie match after 20 minutes of play.”
The 1st half started well and the 2nd half just got better. Ricky van Wolfwinkel scored a penalty making it 3:0. Luca Zuffi fought for the ball, passed to Oberlin, who was fouled by Ljubomir Fejsa. After that, the visitors weakened themselves, as André Almeida was sent off for a vicious foul against Raoul Petretta.
There was no stopping FCB anymore – on the pitch and in the stands! Before Oberlin was substituted off, he scored the 4:0 after a misplaced pass by Pizzi. On his 20th birthday, Oberlin was involved in 4 FCB goals. The birthday boy was rewarded with a standing ovation, but FCB continued to dominate the fixture. Both Mohamed Elyounoussi and Blas Riveros hit the woodwork, then minutes later “blazing Blas” scored the final goal of the evening, 5:0! The Paraguayan put the cherry on top of an unforgettable night at St. Jakob-Park.
Nach dem Spiel:
An unforgettable night for several reasons: firstly, FCB impressed a big crowd with their dynamic game and secured a new record for the club´s history books. Never has a Swiss team beaten Benfica in a competitive fixture. FC La Chaux-de-Fonds (1964), FC Zürich (1982) and FCB (2011) all failed to beat Benfica in the past. FC Basel 1893 have also never scored as many goals in a UCL fixture. The “biggest” victory was a 4:0 win against PFC Ludogorets Razgrad in 2014. FCB are back on track after failing to win in their last 9 European fixtures.
FCB celebrate a historic victory which is of great value. Since PFK ZSKA lost to ManU (1:4), FC Basel will fly to the Russian capital in 2nd place. The pressure is on for Benfica, as they face Manchester United next.
A great result but Raphael Wicky remains calm: „It´s surely a great reslult for the club and we should enjoy it. However I think we should remain humble. We have our next fixture in 3 days from now. We previously won, not everything was great and when we lost several things we did well. Today everything went well. We showed amazing team spirit, which is the only way we should play in the future, if we want to be successful- in the cup, league or Champions League,” The next fixture takes place on Saturday, against Grasshooppers Club Zurich.
FC Basel 1893 – SL Benfica 5:0 (2:0)
St. Jakob-Park. – 34‘111 Attendance. –Referee Craig Thompson (Scottland).
Tore: 2. Lang 1:0 (Oberlin). 20. Oberlin 2:0 (Steffen). 59. van Wolfswinkel 3:0 (Penalty). 69. Oberlin 4:0. 77. Riveros 5:0 (van Wolfswinkel).
FCB: Vaclik; Suchy, Akanji, Balanta (80. Serey Die); Lang, Xhaka, Zuffi, Petretta (67. Riveros); Steffen, van Wolfswinkel, Oberlin (74. Elyounoussi).
Benfica: Júlio César; André Almeida, Luisão, Jardel, Grimaldo; Zivkovic (74. Samaris), Pizzi, Fejsa, Cervi (46. Salvio); Jonas (67. Seferovic), Jiménez.
Bemerkungen: FCB ohne Gaber (verletzt). Benfica ohne Ausfälle. Ersatzbank FCB: Bua, Elyounoussi, Itten, Riveros, Salvi, Schmid und Serey Die. – Platzverweis: 63. André Almeida (grobes Foul). Verwarnungen: 46. Akanji (Foul). 50. Petretta (Foul). 55. Zivkovic (Unsportlichkeit). 55. Xhaka (Unsportlichkeit). 59. Salvio (Reklamieren). – 76. Pfostenschuss Elyounoussi. 76. Pfostenschuss Riveros.