David Luiz gave Chelsea FC a belated package in Switzerland. In a match that could have ended one goal apiece, the Brazilian’s brilliance from 25 yards gave the traveling fans reasons to be cheerful; going into next week second leg at Stamford Bridge.
The defending champions of the primary Europe’s elite league got in front of the home team when Branislav Ivanovic’s header went in off Victor Moses. It was the Nigerian forward’s third goal of the Europa League this season, after his two goals, home and away, against Rubin Khazan.
FC Basel started the match on a promising note but it was Chelsea FC who first found their rhythm. Azpilicueta raced down the right and crossed to the near post, where Lampard’s prod towards goal was turned away for a corner by goalkeeper Sommer.
Lampard took the resulting corner and it met Ivanovic, whose header deflected off Moses and bounced inside the far post. The camera men had placed Ivanovic under the spotlight before a replay proved the ball had gone in off Moses’ head.
Basel looked like getting a goal ever after, but it took the efforts of Ivanovic, Terry, and a retreating Luiz to shield Petr Cech’s goal.
Eden Hazard, playing centrally behind Torres, was doing his utmost to find openings in the Basel defence, but all too frequently Chelsea gave the ball away.
Three minutes into the second half, Streller and Stocker combined and the later hit the base of the wood work after Cech had been beaten by the ball.
Chelsea soon had another chance and again with Hazard on the prodding. He dribbled past Degen and passed the ball back to Torres to smash a left- footed shot against the woodwork.
Much of the second half involved one mistake or the other as Chelsea were forced to repel Basel attacks.
Cole received a yellow card for time wasting at a throw- in before Aleksandar Dragovic was booked for a sliding challenge on Torres, meaning the defenders will now miss the second leg.
Basel substitute Marcelo Diaz curled his effort narrowly wide and the onrushing check collected at the feet of Mohamed Salah after the winger had been played in by Dragovic.
The game was leveled when Azpilicuerta was ruled to have shoved down Stocker in the area and Schar converted the spot kick.
Oscar shot narrowly wide and Terry’s header was surprisingly stopped by Sommer before Luiz took his chance from a 25- yard free- kick to hand Chelsea the necessary three points.