(Translated by Thomas Snaith)
before the fixture:
Alex Frei changed his team´s formation for the PAOK FC fixture compared to the formation he played against Neuenburg on Saturday. He implemented a 4-2-3-1 formation. Éder Balanta played as a leftback for the first time. Geoffroy Serey Die replaced Fabian Frei and Valentin Stocker and Kevin Bua replaced Noah Okafor and Ricky van Wolfswinkel.
Even though there was not a big number of supporters present at St. Jakob Park, both groups of fans created a very loud atmosphere.
The first half:
FCB had a terrible start to this important fixture as the visitors converted their first chance of the game: Dimitris Pelkas’ corner kick found Fernando Varela who volleyed the ball into the back of the net, 1:0! It took 36 minutes of football with a lack of rhythm, before FCB created their first chance of the game: Luca Zuffi´s long distance attempt on target was deflected over the goal by PAOK keeper Alexandros Paschalakis. Most of the fixture took place in midfield. Both groups of supporters make a lot of noise and created a great atmosphere.
The second half:
Nach einem kurzen FCB-Strohfeuer zu Beginn des zweiten Durchgangs waren es dann wieder die Gäste, die das Spiel kontrollierten. Und nach 52 Minuten fiel nach einem Abwehrfehler mit dem 2:0 durch Prijovic die Entscheidung in dieser Partie. Es entsprach der Logik des Spiels, dass PAOK nun mit der sicheren Führung Rückenwind verspürte und wenig später auf 3:0 erhöhte, Omar El Kaddouri traf per Weitschuss via Innenpfosten. Der FCB fing sich danach zwar und war bemüht, aber er war von einem Torerfolg weiterhin sehr weit entfernt. Trotzdem feuerte die Muttenzerkurve das Team weiterhin lautstark an.
As the second half kicked off, FCB increased the pressure for a short period of time, but soon after the visitor reclaimed control of the fixture. After 52 minutes a defensive mistake ended FCB´s hopes of qualification; Prijovic scored, 2:0. PAOK was now in full swing and soon after scored their third and final goal of the night. Omar El Kaddouri scored (3:0) a goal from long distance, clipping the inside of the post. FCB improved but were miles away from scoring. The “Muttenzerkurve” continuously supported their team until the end.
After the fixture:
It is evident that PAOK was the overall better team, especially in the 2nd leg fixture. The final score is a clear representation of both team´s standings.
Now it is clear which direction FCB will be heading; towards the third qualification round of the UEFA Europa League. On Thursday evening we will know who FCB will face. Either “Rotblau” will travel to Arnhem in the Netherlands or to Konstanza on the Black Sea, on Romanian coast. It all depends on the winners of the fixture between SBV Vitesse and FC Viitorul Constanta.
Alex Frei´s statements during the post-fixture Press conference:
Congratulations to PAOK FC, who played robust and evil football, in a positive sense.
after the two fixtures we need to be honest and admit that we there is no space for us in the CHAMPIONS LEAGUE.
We quickly need to learn that we have to work harder than our opponents.
Luck is currently not on our side. We can steer things in the right direction by being more critical towards ourselves.
FC Basel 1893 – PAOK FC 0:3 (0:1)
St. Jakob-Park. – 14’328 Supporters. – Referee Paolo Valeri (ITA).
Tore: 7. Varela 0:1 (Pelkas). 52. Prijovic 0:2 (Paschalakis). 60. El Kaddouri 0:3.
FCB: Omlin; Widmer, Cümart, Suchy, Balanta; Serey Die, Zuffi; Bua, Kalulu (84. Oberlin), Stocker (46. Campo); Ajeti (73. van Wolfswinkel).
PAOK: Paschalakis; Léo Matos, Varela, Crespo, Vierinha; Cañas (82. Shakhov), Maurício; Limnios, Pelkas (84. Kitsiou), El Kaddouri (74. Léo Jaba); Prijovic.
Notes: FCB without Kuzmanovic, Petretta and Xhaka (all injured). Substitutes FCB: Campo, Frei, Hansen, Kaiser, Oberlin, Riveros and van Wolfswinkel. – Yellow Cards: 16. Prijovic 33. Zuffi (44. Serey Die 48. Léo Matos 63. Suchy 77. Pelkas.