Bayern München stubbed their tow in the first leg of the knockout round against Swiss contender FC Basel 0-1. Despite controlling most of the possesion, Bayern was relatively lame near the box, and the Basel club – having already eliminated Manchester United – was by no means satisfied not to lose. St.Jakobs Park was sold out (36,000) and the fans gave loud support to their team. Just when the match looked to peter out to a scoreless draw, midfielder Valentin Stocker struck in the 86th minute. Arjen Robben got a start, but he looked pretty rusty. He ran around a lot like a chicken with his head cut off, usually placing his shot about 50 rows deep in the stands. Bayern’s new signing (for next year) Xherdan Shaqiri was on display for Basel. He wasn’t in top form, but showed flashes of what Bayern hopes to get.
Bayern will have to show a lot more in the rematch in München.
Hannover 96 defended their 2-1 1st leg win against Belgiums FC Brugge on Thursday…22,000 fans showed up, selling out the park, but the 96ers came away with the 1-0 victory, a nice road win. The Belgians pressed hard, but GK Zieler was in top form, and an early goal by Diouf ended up being enough for Hannover to advance to the next round.
Schalke had a surprisingly tough time with Viktoria Plzen. After a 1-1 first leg away, some 50,000 showed up in Schalke’s Veltins Arena expecting an east win. And it looked that was exactly what they were going to get, with Huntelaar scoring after only 8 minutes. But then they dicked around, and the Czechs scored with two minutes remaining. Luckily, Schalke got things back together in overtime, and Huntelaar scored two more, giving him the hat-trick.