Philipp Degen nets two stunners as Basel claim all three points against FC Sion
FC Basel secure some much needed points against FC Sion, closing the large point gap between them and their fellow Axpo Super League side. They were in need of a confidence booster after struggling in the domestic league but earning an important draw away to Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League.
Phillip Degen was the man of the night, scoring Basel’s first goal and putting them ahead again when Sion drew level just before the half. Degen’s first goal hit the back of the net after he took a brilliant touch to get past the opposing defense. His actual shot was also a brilliant, fast touch that beat the defenders and was curling into the back of the goal before the keeper could properly react. Just before the conclusion of the first forty-five Gattuso put Sion level after he took advantage of some lazy defending from Basel, surprisingly after they had been praised for tactical defensive organization against Sporting Lisbon. The score at halftime stood at 1-1 and both managers had a lot to think about. Sion had looked stronger in the attack than they had in the defense while Basel were not as dominant in possession as they were used to.
Basel came out of the interval swinging after Sion looked like the more dangerous side in their attacking third of the pitch. Although Sommer and his defense were called upon on several occasions in the back, Basel’s backline and some unfortunate misses from Sion kept their goal tally for the night at one while Basel began to push up and threaten Sion’s goal.
Degen’s second strike came in the fifty-fifth minute. He struck a sweet volley as the ball bounced around in the Sion penalty area, beating Vanins with ease and giving Basel the lead. The momentum of the two goals from Degen kept the home side rolling and Stocker added to make it 3-1 in the 74th minute. Although the finish was calm and composed, the backheel assist from Marco Streller stole the show on that particular play. Stocker was yellow carded for his “aggressive” goal celebration, yelling in the face of a Sion player.
Basel were lucky to concede only one goal. Sommer made some good saves and his defense were certainly busy. After the scare from Gattuso in the first half, they were quicker to the ball and the midfield did a fine job of coming back to assist them. The midfield and defense had reestablished their organization and were not a transitional train wreck if set pieces were converted in favor of Sion. The defense started to push up and ten minutes from time, the young South American center back Gaston Sauro netted a fine header for Basel off of a lofty ball into the box.
Sauro’s goal surely secured the three points for Basel, who will remain in fourth place but now trail Sion by only two points rather than the five that they were lacking at the beginning of the fixture.