Porto Wins in Champions League as Basel Shocks Chelsea
Mohamed Salah and Marco Streller scored in the final 19 minutes at Stamford Bridge in London last night to give Basel the victory. It ended a run of 19 winless visits by Swiss clubs to England in European play, dating back to 1995.
“We will remain humble now and know that all we did was win the first game,” Basel coach Murat Yakin said on the website of tournament organizer UEFA. “After years we have finally managed to win a game over here.”
Arsenal, AC Milan, Schalke, Napoli, Atletico Madrid and Porto also won as the first round of group-stage matches in Europe’s elite club competition concluded.
Basel’s late comeback handed Chelsea its first group-stage home loss in 30 games dating back to 2003. The Blues, who last season became the first Champions League holder to be knocked out in the group stage, took the lead just before halftime on a goal from Oscar.
Basel tied the score in the 71st minute as Streller laid off a pass for Salah, who sent a shot past Petr Cech. Streller got the winner 11 minutes later when he headed a corner kick between Cech and the near post.
Schalke also won in Group E, 3-0 over Steaua Bucharest on goals from Atsuto Uchida, Kevin-Prince Boateng and Julian Draxler.
Messi scored his fourth Champions League hat trick to move ahead of Mario Gomez and Filippo Inzaghi as Barcelona began its bid for a fifth title with the home win over Ajax in Group H.
The Argentine scored once in each half for a 2-0 lead after 55 minutes. After Gerard Pique increased Barcelona’s lead, Messi completed the scoring with 15 minutes remaining.
“The Champions League group stage is always complicated,” Messi said on UEFA’s website. “We were better in the second half.”
Messi, 26, now has 62 Champions League goals to move nine behind record-holder Raul Gonzalez.
In the other match in Group H, seven-time champion AC Milan got two late scores to beat Celtic 2-0.
Milan took an 82nd-minute lead as Cristian Zapata’s shot deflected in off Emilio Izaguirre for an own goal. Sully Muntari added the second four minutes later when he tapped in the rebound after Fraser Forster saved Mario Balotelli’s free kick.
In Group F, Theo Walcott and Aaron Ramsey scored in the second half as Arsenal won 2-1 at Marseille to extend its away winning run to 10 games in all competitions.
The Gunners took the lead in the 65th minute following a defensive error as Jeremy Morel’s mistimed headed clearance attempt fell to Walcott, who fired a shot into the net.
Ramsey made it 2-0 in the 83rd minute before Jordan Ayew scored for Marseille with a penalty kick in stoppage time.
“It was a victory linked with patience and experience, even if we were not flamboyant,” Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told Sky Sports. “But we start with three points and that is good.”
Gonzalo Higuain and Lorenzo Insigne got the Napoli goals, while Dortmund’s score came on an own goal from Camilo Zuniga. Dortmund goalkeeper Roman Weidenfeller was shown a red card just before halftime for handling the ball outside the area.
Miranda, Arda Turan and Leo Baptistao scored to give Atletico Madrid a 3-1 home win over Zenit St. Petersburg in Group G, while Porto won 1-0 at Austria Vienna on a goal from Lucho Gonzalez.
The Champions League continues with the next round of group-stage matches Oct. 1 and 2. The top two teams in each of the eight pools after six games advance to the knockout stage, which finishes with the May 24 final in Lisbon.
To contact the reporter on this story: Bob Bensch in London at email@example.com.