The Top Teams in The Axpo Super League Hold Each Other to a Draw in Luzern
FC Basel traveled to Luzern to face off against Murat Yakin’s second place team in the two team’s 28th fixture of the league in this 2011/2012 season. If Basel went home with the full three points, they would be sitting even higher at the top of the table than at present with a possible twenty point lead depending on the result from Young Boys Berne’s fixture against Lausanne Sport on Monday. At the end of the day, despite a fantastic goal and dominant showing from Basel, the game ended in a draw.
With just three minutes gone in the first half, Xherdan Shaqiri then proved why he was one of the most sought after young midfielders in European football when he put Basel up 1-0 with a fantastic bicycle kick from the short range. His run into the box was well-timed and he left his marker in the dust to get on the end of the cross from Basel’s center back David Abraham. Basel continued to dominate, passing the ball around the Luzern players and often resetting and building from their back four. Luzern didn’t force much from Yann Sommer in the Basel goal. He came off of his line briefly just before half time to make a routine save off of a stray cross, but the Luzern attacks were otherwise handled by Basel’s defensive line. The Luzern defense was also fending off multiple attacks and Zibung in the Luzern goal made some spectacular saves to deny the visitors. Just before the halftime whistle, Basel’s Aleksandar Dragovic limped off of the pitch with an apparent knee injury but he was back on and ready to start the second half of the match without a problem.
The home side found more of a rhythm in the second half and were soon equal on possession with the visitors, forcing some more action from Sommer and testing Dragovic and Abraham. Luzern found the equalizer in the 59th when Lustenberger shook his marker, getting off a cross past Markus Steinhofer and across the face of goal where Dario Lezcano was able to improvise and put the ball into the back of the net with his chest. Lezcano believed that he had a penalty appeal just minutes later when he was tripped by Xherdan Shaqiri, but he saw yellow for diving rather than receiving the chance to put his side ahead. Basel had an appeal for a penalty kick near the end of the match when Marco Streller was taken down in the box, but the foul went uncalled and Luzern narrowly escaped conceding a goal and two points. At the end of the day, each team went home with a point apiece, an expected result from a fixture between the first and second place teams.
Basel: Sommer, Steinhofer, Abraham, Dragovic, Park, Huggel, Xhaka, Shaqiri, F. Frei, A. Frei, Streller
Luzern: Zibung, Thiesson, Wiss, Puljic, Lustenberger, Kryeziu, Kukeli, Renggli, Ferreira, Hyka, Lezcano