Created on 22-02-2012 at 00:00 AM
Bayern seemed to have done enough for a hard-earned draw away to stubborn FC Basel in the Champions League last sixteen first leg on Wednesday night, but Switzerland striker Valentin Stocker came off the bench to seal a famous last-gasp victory for the underdogs. Defeat was harsh on the Bavarians, as both sides had their chances and a share of the spoils would have been a fair outcome on the night.
The 36,000 full house at St Jakob Park saw a cracking first half-hour with gilt-edged openings at both ends, including two shots off the goal frame for the home side and spectacular saves from both Manuel Neuer and Basel keeper Yann Sommer.
Despite the bumpy and pock-marked playing surface, Jupp Heynckes’ men increasingly imposed their patient passing game on the hosts after the restart, although the quality of the chances failed to match that of the tumultuous opening phase. The game seemed destined for a merited draw, until Stocker’s decisive intervention with just four minutes to play.
The result means Munich go into the return at the Allianz Arena on 13 March with plenty to do, although Bayern’s first priority will be to prevent the Swiss champions scoring an away goal of their own before going in search of the two goals needed to turn the tie around. The Bavarians return to domestic league action next Sunday evening, when fourth-placed Schalke visit the Allianz Arena.