- FC Zurich celebrates a 4-2 victory over FC Basel in the top duel of the 23rd round in the Super League.
- The Zurich team laid the foundation for success with a lightning start and 2 goals in the first 16 minutes.
- Thanks to the victory over the rival, the leader extends the lead over the Basler to 13 points.
- In the other games on Sunday afternoon, St. Gallen and Lucerne also get wins.
It wasn’t the spectacle that the two teams had delivered at the same place in the first half of the season. And yet the 71st “classic” could become a particularly groundbreaking one. Because while the leader from Zurich is rushing to the next home win thanks to the 4-2 win, the championship title for FCB is a long way off.
Basel reacts too late
Unlike in the first half, it took a quarter of an hour in the second half before the game regained its intensity. A flick by Antonio Marchesano on the post elicited a collective murmur from the more than 20,000 spectators in the Letzigrund. It wasn’t supposed to be the starting signal for a Zurich assault, but the action underlined that the leader still had the more compelling chances after the change of sides.
One of them, which was preceded by a hair-raising mistake by Basel’s Strahinja Pavlovic, was used by youngster Wilfried Gnonto after 78 minutes to make it 3-1. Although Michael Lang (90+1) was able to head the visitors short, there was no real danger in the Zurich penalty area after that. On the contrary: With the 4:2 Nikola Boranijasevic made everything clear in the last action, which led FCZ coach André Breitenreiter to sprint across the field to Zurich’s Jubeltraube.
Early Zurich double strike
It was clear from the start that Breitenreiter had properly prepared his team for the top battle. An awkward attempt at clearance by Noah Katterbach promptly rewarded the hosts’ attacking play: instead of hitting the ball, the Basel defender hit Fidan Aliti’s calf. Marchesano confidently converted the subsequent penalty in the 8th minute.
After that, the “Bebbi” were able to thank goalkeeper Heinz Lindner twice: First, the Austrian prevented Marchesano’s second goal (11th) in extremis, then he made a miraculous save against Blaz Kramer (15th). Just a minute later, however, the FCB goalie was no longer able to iron out the frightening defensive behavior of those in front. After a counterattack, Kramer, who had started for the suspended top scorer in the league, made it 2-0 from a suspected offside position.
In his first appearance as Basel head coach, Guillermo Abascal relied on veteran Adam Szalai as the only striker. However, the Hungarian, who played from the start for the first time, was lost. So it was up to FCB captain Valentin Stocker to exploit a rare oversight in Zurich’s defensive structure in the 38th minute. For the unimaginative Basler it was the only compelling goal chance until Lang’s goal shortly before the end.
Here’s how to proceed
For FCZ, the guest appearance at FC Luzern is coming up next Wednesday. SRF will broadcast this game live from 8:10 p.m. on SRF two and in the Sport App. FC Basel welcomes the in-form St. Gallen on Thursday evening. Kick-off at St. Jakob Park is at 8:30 p.m.