Chelsea suffer shock home defeat by Basel

September 19, 2013
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Basel's Marco Streller (R) scores a goal against Chelsea during their Champions League soccer match at Stamford Bridge in London September 18, 2013. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

LONDON (Reuters) - Jose Mourinho's dreams of winning the Champions League with Chelsea suffered an early setback on Wednesday when the Londoners fell to a shock 2-1 home defeat by Swiss champions Basel in their opening Group E match.

Chelsea, beaten in the Premier League by Everton on Saturday, looked short of ideas all night in a stuttering display, though they led 1-0 following a neat finish by Oscar just before halftime.

The Brazilian hit the bar soon after the restart as Chelsea briefly turned on the style but they were never able to take complete control and Mohamed Salah equalised in the 71st minute.

Basel, beaten by Chelsea in the Europa League semi-finals last season, grew in confidence and scored again 10 minutes later when captain and centre forward Marco Streller cleverly glanced in a near-post header from a corner.

"I'm not in shock," Mourinho told Sky Sports after Chelsea's first home defeat in the Champions League group stage in 30 matches. "Sometimes you win sometimes you lose.

"I'm not happy of course. We have taken a step back in qualification but we have to assume responsibility. We have five games left to finish in the top two.

"Basel played very well. We had a lot of the ball but we couldn't create many chances. Emotionally this is not a mature team and when you are in a difficult position it was not enough."

Chelsea gave a debut to 30 million-poundsigning Willian and a first home start for 20-year-old Marco Van Ginkel but they were pedestrian and disjointed for most of the first half.

A neat pass by the ever-aware Lampard enabled Oscar to give them a flattering halftime lead and their formidable home record in the competition looked safe.

Basel, who took four points off Manchester United in the Champions League in the 2011-12 season, were always in the game and it was no real surprise when they levelled after Salah played a nice one-two with Streller and curled in a confident low shot.

They went close again soon after through Streller but Chelsea failed to heed the warning and the big forward got in front of Gary Cahill to head the winner nine minutes from the end.

With Schalke 04 and Steaua Bucharest making up the group the defeat should not necessarily be terminal for Chelsea, who failed to get out of their group last year, but it was not the start Mourinho had planned when he returned to the club from Real Madrid three months ago. (Editing by Ed Osmond)