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FOOTBALL

FC Basel thrash Benfica in Champions League

The Swiss champions gave themselves a huge boost in the fight to qualify from the group stages.

FC Basel thrash Benfica in Champions League
Basel's Swiss forward Dimitri Oberlin scores a goal against Benfica's Brazilian goalkeeper Julio Cesar. Fabrice Coffrini/AFP.

FC Basel 1893 ran out 5-0 victors at St Jakob-Park in Basel against Portuguese side Benfica on Wednesday September 27th in an emphatic and much-needed victory for the Swiss club in the Champions League.

Michael Lang and Dimitri Oberlin gave Basel a two goal cushion in the first half. Ricky van Wolfswinkel then added a third in the second half, before birthday-boy Oberlin doubled his tally. Blas Riveros completed the rout. 

Lisbon-side Benfica were reduced to 10-men when Gomes Andre Almeida was sent off for foul play. 

“A better birthday couldn't be possible,” Swiss national Oberlin, who turned 20, told Swiss TV station SRF in a post match interview, reports 20min.ch. “This is a very special day for me. Such things don't happen twice.” 

Geburtstagskind und Doppeltorschütze Dimitri Oberlin im Interview nach dem sensationellen 5:0-Sieg gegen @SLBenfica! #UCL #FCBasel1893 pic.twitter.com/RBiG7fTiIO

— FC Basel 1893 (@FC_Basel) September 27, 2017

'What a night of football!' proclaimed Basel's daily Bazonline.ch's headline in its report about the game. It was the first victory for the Swiss club in Europe's premier club competition for three years, according to the same report.

Oberlin, one of the fastest rising stars of Swiss football, continued to make a name for himself in front of 34,000 spectators on Wednesday, eventually leaving the pitch to a standing ovation. 

Dimitri Oberlin in action during the game. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP.

FC Basel 1893 are the reigning Swiss champions and have won the last eight editions of the Swiss Super League

They now sit second in Champions League Group A with three points from two games. Manchester United top the group with six points from a possible six. FC Basel 1893 face Russian side CSKA Moscow away then again at home in their next two games. 

READ MORE: Swiss court jails football hooligan in first ruling of its kind

FOOTBALL

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame

A Swiss super fan who has shot to fame after images of him watching Switzerland’s win over France went viral told the media he was unaware of his viral fame - but that he was overwhelmed with the world’s attention.

‘Overwhelmed’: Unaware Swiss super fan stunned about viral fame
Image: Twitter.

Like most Swiss football fans, Luca Loutenbach’s Monday evening – highlighted by a surprise upset win over the current World Champions and tournament favourite France – went about as well as you could have expected. 

But while his side were putting on the pressure through late goals to push the game into extra time, Loutenbach’s image was being shared across the world. 

Two pictures of Loutenbach, juxtaposed from before and after Switzerland scored an equaliser in the 90th minute to send the game to extra time, were widely shared. 

The images were even shared by Sadiq Kahn, the mayor of London, who congratulated Switzerland and said the images summed up the beauty of football. 

On Tuesday, Loutenbach spoke with Swiss tabloid Blick to tell the story. He said he had no idea about the images as his phone had no reception in Romania – and only found out after the game. 

“I didn’t have a network during the game. But some fans around me were connected to the internet and quickly realized what was happening. What an incredible buzz!” said the man from the canton of Jura. 

While Switzerland have made it further than they have in their history in the tournament, Loutenbach is far from a bandwagon fan. He told Blick he’s seen around 50 national team games before. 

“It’s the most beautiful day in the history of Swiss football, let’s not be afraid of saying it. It is the accomplishment of the immense work of the ASF (Federation), of (coach) Petkovic and of the whole team” he said. 

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