Basel picked up a huge win over Fiorentina last night in the first leg of their UEFA Europa Conference League semi-final tie.
We’re at the final four stage of this year’s competition and, more than ever, we’re getting down to the nitty-gritty. All four clubs are in with a great chance of making it all the way and winning the trophy, and last night, Basel took a huge step towards doing just that.
Today, we’ll be taking a look at a few of our biggest takeaways from the action.
Fiorentina let it slip
Fiorentina were, and to some still are, seen as the favourites to go all the way and win the Conference League. They set themselves up brilliantly with a controlled first leg performance at home but from the 70th minute on, they just seemed to drop their guard. They allowed the game to get away from them and they got too complacent, and now, they have to go into enemy territory and get something.
Basel have always been known as a club that pop up with a surprise result in Europe and this was no different. Many wouldn’t have seen it as a surprise if they’d won prior to kick-off, but the manner in which they got the job done was impressive. Following their equaliser, they weathered an initial storm and took their time before pouncing with a winner in the 92nd minute. If that doesn’t give them a huge confidence boost, nothing will.
Conference League importance
Between this game and West Ham vs AZ Alkmaar, you could just feel the excitement that was in the air for this competition. Some have seen it as a bit of a waste of time, but really, it gives teams a wonderful opportunity to shine when they perhaps wouldn’t in other circumstances at this level. So, for all of those who would argue the Conference League shouldn’t exist, we’d say last night proved you wrong.
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