Bayern battle back with Bastian brace

Bayern were deservedly behind at half-time after Alexander Frei’s

wonderfully worked 18th-minute strike, but the Bavarians roared

back after the break. Schweinsteiger equalised from the penalty

spot 10 minutes after the restart and sealed the win two minutes

from time when he turned in Holger Badstuber’s free-kick at the

back post. Victory for Bayern meant they have won both of their two

matches in Group E so far while for Basle it was a second

successive 2-1 defeat. Bayern had looked the more likely to score

before they fell behind, with Toni Kroos’ low angled drive tipped

just wide by Basle goalkeeper Franco Costanzo. The visitors then

may even have had a penalty when Xherdan Shaqiri appeared to handle

the ball under pressure from Miroslav Klose, but Basle were ahead

with 18 minutes gone. The goal owed much to the strength and skill

of Marco Streller, who outmuscled Badstuber before backheeling a

pass for Frei to curl an unstoppable shot into the top corner. The

goal sucked the life out of Bayern’s early dominance and the

Germans were run ragged for the next 20 minutes as they clung on in

the contest. Benjamin Huggel had a header ruled out for offside

while the lively Shaqiri slid a pass along the six-yard box but

just behind an unmarked Streller at the back post. Streller then

missed the chance to get on the scoresheet when the Bayern defence

allowed a corner to bounce through to him but the striker headed

over in space. The German champions did, however, show signs of

regaining their composure with Mark van Bommel forcing a sharp save

from Costanzo. Van Gaal made an attacking change at the break,

sending on Mario Gomez for Hamit Altintop. His side responded by

playing with greater purpose and they were level 10 minutes after

the restart when Huggel fouled Thomas Muller in the area.

Schweinsteiger sidefooted the penalty low into the bottom right

corner. Bayern’s early swagger started to return and they looked

destined to go ahead when Philipp Lahm’s low centre slid invitingly

across goal before Costanzo got a vital touch. Substitute Ivica

Olic added to their threat as he found space down the left without

finding the telling final ball. Basle’s attack was not completely

redundant, however, and Streller should have done better than to

head Huggel’s cross straight into the arms of Hans-Jorg Butt before

Gilles Yapi Yapo bent a 20-yard shot just wide. The game was

decided, however, in the final moments when Badstuber bent a

free-kick to the back post and the defence failed to track

Schweinsteiger to allow him to leap and sidefoot in.