Late Basel goal stuns Bayern Munich
Valentin Stocker scored four minutes from time to give Basle a famous victory over Bundesliga giants Bayern Munich in the first leg of their Champions League clash at St Jakob-Park.
Stocker was left unmarked to slot the ball between Manuel Neuer’s legs in a match where neither defence covered itself in glory.
The first half was breathless with both sides coming close and Basle twice hitting the woodwork – and it was the Swiss side who eventually prevailed to take a narrow lead to Munich.
Bayern raced out of the blocks with Franck Ribery a constant menace in the early minutes.
The France international could have given Bayern an early lead in the third minute when he chested the ball down on the right-hand side of the six-yard box before transferring the ball on to his left foot and unleashing a half-volley which Yans Sommer did well to block.
Bayern were then grateful to Jerome Boateng whose perfectly-timed tackle on Xherdan Shakiri stopped the Switzerland midfielder when he would have done better to have shot first time.
Ribery had another chance to put the visitors ahead in the 12th minute when he received the ball unmarked on the left side of the area. However, rather than shooting across the goalkeeper he chose to aim for the near post allowing Sommer to make the save.
It was a breathless opening to the game with the hosts also showing as an attacking force.
Marco Streller’s flick was pushed over by Neuer, who was rescued by the woodwork moments later when an unmarked Alexsander Dragovic sent a firm header in on goal which hit the keeper on the forearm before coming off the inside of the post with Holger Badstuber clearing off the line.
Just three minutes later Basle hit the woodwork again when Alexander Frei got between two defenders but his first-time left-footed shot hit the bar.
Sommer did well to intercept David Alaba’s shot with the ball swerving at the last minute before Ribery unleashed another shot to test the goalkeeper.
The second half showed little of the space both teams had found in attack with the defences far tighter.
Philipp Lahm tested Sommer with a fierce shot from distance which was pushed away for a corner before Mario Gomez was thwarted when he beat the offside trap and attempted to push the ball across the goal but the keeper stood up as the Bayern player shot at him.
Robben was blocked by Dragovic as he attempted to squirm free in the six-yard box and it was Bayern who were on top.
However, that was before Stocker’s intervention with four minutes left.
Jacques Zoua ran from right to left along the edge of the area without any real challenge and passed the ball to Stocker on his left. He had lost his marker and slotted home through Neuer’s legs.