Champions League - Group B
FC BaselFC Basel1LiverpoolLiverpool0
By Mike HensonBBC Sport
Marco Streller of Basel
Marco Streller scored the game's only goal to take Basel to second in Group B
  • Streller second-half goal sees off Liverpool
  • Reds have won only four of nine matches this season
  • Liverpool play Real Madrid home and away next

Liverpool's hopes of making the Champions League knockout stages were dented as they succumbed to a 1-0 Group B defeat at Basel.

Raheem Sterling and Mario Balotelli had goals ruled out for offside, but Liverpool rarely threatened.

Instead, the visitors' defensive problems were exposed as Martin Skrtel headed towards his own goal and Marco Streller swept home the loose ball.

Basel 1-0 Liverpool: Brendan Rodgers rues 'soft' goal

Steven Gerrard came close to a late leveller when his free-kick was saved.

While Liverpool roused themselves to apply concerted pressure in the final five minutes, it was not enough to merit an equaliser that would have denied the hosts victory.

Manager Brendan Rodgers returns to Merseyside with more concerns over the disjointed attack and dysfunctional defence that have undermined the start of their Premier League campaign.

Basel themselves looked vulnerable when they were beaten 5-1 by Real Madrid in their Group B opener, and they were cut open inside five minutes by the Reds.

Champions League Group B table
PlayedWonDrawnLostGDPoints
Real Madrid220056
Basel2101-33
Liverpool210103
Ludogorets2002-20

However, Sterling strayed carelessly offside before turning in Lazar Markovic's cross, and Liverpool struggled to create a chance of similar quality for the rest of the match.

Instead full-backs Jose Enrique, preferred at left-back to Alberto Moreno, and Javi Manquillo were frequently exposed as their team were penned back.

Geoffroy Serey Die, exploiting space on Enrique's flank, came closest to scoring in the first half, slamming a shot into goalkeeper Simon Mignolet's shins.

While Liverpool looked vulnerable out wide in the first half, it was their deficiencies in the centre of defence that were exposed by the Swiss side's goal.

Skrtel, more concerned with grappling with his man, inadvertently headed the ball against Dejan Lovren and, while Mignolet got down sharply to prevent an own goal, the goalkeeper succeeded only in palming the ball into Streller's path for a simple finish.

Without the injured Daniel Sturridge and the departed Luis Suarez, Liverpool were stripped of the interplay and invention of last season and struggled for a response.

Only Mario Balotelli's long-range free-kick, blocked by goalkeeper Tomas Vaclík's shoulder, and Sterling's clumsy mis-control when clean through gave the home crowd cause for concern.

With back-to-back meetings against holders Real Madrid to follow in Group B, Liverpool will need a vast improvement to progress to the knockout stages.

Marco Streller of Basel
Marco Streller has scored five goals in eight games in the Swiss top flight this season
Basel celebrates beating Liverpool
Basel beat Chelsea home and away in last season's Champions League group stages
Brendan Rodgers and Paulo Sousa
Brendan Rodgers and Paulo Sousa, both former Swansea managers, were in opposing dugouts
Mario Balotelli
Mario Balotelli (right) has scored one goal in seven games for Liverpool

Line-ups

FC Basel

  • 1Vaclik
  • 16Schär
  • 17SuchyBooked at 60mins
  • 19SafariSubstituted forGonzálezat 9'minutes
  • 34Xhaka
  • 20Frei
  • 8Dié
  • 24Bekhit AbdelgaberSubstituted forZuffiat 90+2'minutes
  • 36EmboloSubstituted forCallàat 81'minutes
  • 9Streller
  • 33Elneny

Substitutes

  • 7Zuffi
  • 10Delgado
  • 11Gashi
  • 14Kakitani
  • 18Vailati
  • 25González
  • 39Callà

Liverpool

  • 22Mignolet
  • 19Manquillo
  • 37Skrtel
  • 6Lovren
  • 3Enrique Sanchez Diaz
  • 8GerrardBooked at 54mins
  • 14Henderson
  • 50MarkovicSubstituted forLambertat 81'minutes
  • 10CoutinhoSubstituted forLallanaat 70'minutes
  • 31SterlingBooked at 9mins
  • 45BalotelliBooked at 71mins

Substitutes

  • 1Jones
  • 4K Touré
  • 9Lambert
  • 18Moreno
  • 20Lallana
  • 21Leiva
  • 29Borini
Referee:
Jonas Eriksson
Attendance:
36,000

Match Stats

Home TeamFC BaselAway TeamLiverpool
Possession
Home56%
Away44%
Shots
Home11
Away15
Shots on Target
Home5
Away5
Corners
Home8
Away4
Fouls
Home9
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, FC Basel 1, Liverpool 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, FC Basel 1, Liverpool 0.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, FC Basel. Luca Zuffi replaces Ahmed Hamoudi.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Marek Suchy (FC Basel).

  5. Post update

    Mario Balotelli (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Hand ball by Rickie Lambert (Liverpool).

  7. Post update

    Offside, Liverpool. Steven Gerrard tries a through ball, but Mario Balotelli is caught offside.

  8. Post update

    Attempt saved. Steven Gerrard (Liverpool) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.

  9. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  10. Post update

    Delay in match Fabian Frei (FC Basel) because of an injury.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Fabian Frei (FC Basel).

  12. Post update

    Mario Balotelli (Liverpool) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  13. Post update

    Offside, Liverpool. Steven Gerrard tries a through ball, but Mario Balotelli is caught offside.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, FC Basel. Davide Callà replaces Breel Embolo because of an injury.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Liverpool. Rickie Lambert replaces Lazar Markovic.

  16. Post update

    Attempt missed. Serey Die (FC Basel) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  17. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mohamed Elneny (FC Basel) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Marco Streller.

  18. Post update

    Derlis González (FC Basel) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  19. Post update

    Foul by José Enrique (Liverpool).

  20. Post update

    Attempt missed. Mohamed Elneny (FC Basel) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right following a set piece situation.

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