Real Madrid thrash Basel in Champions Cup game

FC Basel’s hopes of toppling Real Madrid were dashed on Tuesday night when the Spanish team thrashed the Swiss football club 5-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium.

Real Madrid thrash Basel in Champions Cup game
Basel's Japanese forward Yoichiro Kakitani vies with Real Madris defender Nacho in Tuesday's game. Photo: Javier Soriano/AFP

The result marked a disappointing start for the Swiss champions in the opening game of the Group B qualifying series for the Champions Cup.

The team’s coach Paulo Sousa said ahead of the game he believed his team could trouble Real Madrid, as well as Liverpool, which it takes on in two weeks time.

“We want to build on what the club has done in the last five years, continue to progress and compete with the best,” he said.

But Real Madrid, the Champions League champions who have faced their own struggles recently, losing two Spanish league games and the Spanish Super Cup, proved to be too strong for the Basel squad.

The Swiss team started off badly when Marek Suchy scored an own goal in the 14th minute when a cross deflected off him into the net.

By half-time, the battle was already lost as Gareth Bale scored for Real Madrid after 30 minutes followed by a goal from Cristiano Ronaldo a minute later and another from James Rodriguez at the 36th minute mark.

Derlis Gonzalez potted Basel’s only goal a couple of minutes later while Karim Benzema scored Real Madrid’s fifth goal late in the second half.

Basel coach Sousa was left to rue his side's weakness in defence despite showing flashes of their quality on the ball.

"We created chances, we were brave to have the ball and didn't just look to defend," he said.

"In certain moments we were too naive, but in other moments we showed good quality and personality."

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Coronavirus forces Basel FC to move home Europa League clash

FC Basel will be unable to play the second leg of this month's Europa League last 16 tie against Eintracht Frankfurt in their home city, the Swiss club announced on Monday, due to coronavirus-related restrictions.

Coronavirus forces Basel FC to move home Europa League clash

“The second leg (19th March) of our @EuropaLeague Round of 16 clash with @Eintracht will not take place in Basel due to the Coronavirus outbreak in Switzerland,” Basel said on Twitter.

In a statement, the club added they believed “several hundred visiting supporters would go to Basel and gather outside the stadium during the match”.

The decisions comes after local police decided to bar the match from being played in the city, and the club did not indicate where the match might be held.

Last week the Swiss football league suspended the country's top-flight Super League until March 23 in an effort to help contain the spread of COVID-19, which has killed more than 3,800 people worldwide.

Contacted by AFP, UEFA said they were “studying all possible scenarios”.