Chelsea defeat to Basel adds spice to busy December schedule for the Blues

Petr Cech’s performance in goal was the one bright aspect of the second defeat

Petr Cech has admitted Chelsea have made their lives more complicated by succumbing to Basel for a second time in Champions League Group E.

Chelsea’s manager, Jose Mourinho, had targeted a win in Switzerland to render the result in next month’s final group match with Steaua Bucharest meaningless, but now his side must win to be certain of top spot in the standings.

Cech’s performance in goal was the one bright aspect of a second defeat to Basel as Chelsea, who failed to muster a meaningful effort on goal, stumbled to qualification for the last 16 only as a result of Schalke’s draw in Romania.

“We could’ve made it clear,” Cech said. “We’ve made it a bit more complicated for ourselves. We qualified, that’s the main thing. One more game, we want to make sure we win the game and be top. We didn’t play the way we wanted, we didn’t get the result we wanted – but at the same time we got the result we wanted.

“We wanted to come home from Basel with the qualification in our pocket; we are going home with the qualification, but we want to finish first.”

Chelsea play nine games next month, beginning with Sunday’s visit of Southampton in the Premier League, and Mourinho had hoped just eight of them would be fully competitive. Instead, the Steaua match is important despite Chelsea achieving something they failed to do last term, when they became the first Champions League  holders to exit in the group phase.

When Basel won at Stamford Bridge in September – ending Chelsea’s near 10-year, 29-match unbeaten run at home in the Champions League group stages – it appeared Mourinho’s side might suffer the same fate they did last season.

But they responded by winning 4-0 at Steaua and twice beating Schalke 3-0, leaving many to believe a win at St Jakob Park would be a formality.

Mourinho said: “In the first match we didn’t play well. I don’t think we deserved to lose, but we did. [In Basel] they found us in a moment of some relaxation.

“We were not under pressure like we were when  we played in Bucharest or against Schalke. At the same time I think we paid the price.”

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

No postcode? No vote

Floating voters

How living on a houseboat meant I didn't officially 'exist'
Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin

By Reason of Insanity

Louis Theroux's affable Englishman routine begins to wear thin
Power dressing is back – but no shoulderpads!

Power dressing is back

But banish all thoughts of Eighties shoulderpads
Spanish stone-age cave paintings 'under threat' after being re-opened to the public

Spanish stone-age cave paintings in Altamira 'under threat'

Caves were re-opened to the public
'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'

Vince Cable interview

'I was the bookies’ favourite to be first to leave the Cabinet'
Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor