Sunday, July 22, 2018

Schweinsteiger double seals Bayern comeback

Bastian Schweinsteiger led a second-half comeback by Bayern Munich against Swiss league champions Basel on Tuesday to earn a 2-1 victory in their Champions League Group E tie.

Basel had taken an early lead when Switzerland striker Alexander Frei opened the scoring with a superb goal on 18 minutes before Schweinsteiger netted a second-half penalty followed by an 89th-minute tap in.

This was Bayern’s second Champions League win after they opened their campaign with a 2-0 win over Roma while Basel had been stung by a 2-1 defeat in their first group match in Romania against Cluj.

Basel coach Thorsten Fink, who won three Bundesliga titles as a player with Bayern in 1997-2003, rattled his old side as his players closed down the Germans in midfield.

The Swiss side made a strong start and deserved to take the lead against last year’s finalists.

Basel captain Franco Costanzo made two excellent saves in the opening stages, both from Germany midfielder Toni Kroos, before the hosts took the lead.

Swiss striker Marco Streller held off Bayern defender Holger Badstuber deep in the penalty area and back-heeled his pass into the path of Frei who curled his shot into the top right-hand corner.

The Swiss side nearly went further ahead when midfielder Benjamin Huggel hit the back of the net after latching onto a Frei free-kick, but his effort was ruled offside.

With his side 1-0 down at the break, Bayern coach Louis van Gaal brought on strikers Mario Gomez and Ivica Olic.

Munich got back on level terms when Germany midfielder Thomas Mueller was tackled heavily in the penalty area and Schweinsteiger sent Constanzo the wrong way on 56 minutes.

Olic had a golden chance to put his side ahead on 67 minutes when there was a goalmouth scramble, but the Swiss team managed to clear the danger.

Bayern grabbed the three points when Badstuber curled in a free-kick and Schweinsteiger enjoyed a simple tap in to claim his second with barely a minute remaining.

In the next round of matches, Bayern host Romanian side CFR Cluj in Munich on October 19, the same night Basel are at Roma.


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