The Italians sounded an early warning when Menez fired across the face of goal from a narrow angle after Totti slipped the ball to him. Basel, however, took control as Valentin Stocker went close with a low, 25-metre shot and Roma defender Juan managed to foil Marco Streller with a last-ditch tackle. Roma goalkeeper Julio Sergio then made a point-blank save to deny Benjamin Huggel and Juan was again on hand to cut out Behrang Safari’s dangerous low cross, all before the 15-minute mark. The game changed completely in the 16th minute when Roma scored out of the blue and with a slice of luck.
A slick move ended with Mirko Vucinic being dispossessed on the edge of the area but the ball ran kindly to Menez who slotted home clinically from the edge of the area. Vucinic side-footed wide from close range before Roma doubled their lead when John Arne Riise was felled and Totti defied the deafening jeers to beat Franco Costanzo, who got a hand to the ball but could not keep it out.
Roma defended their lead comfortably until Basel reduced the arrears in the 69th minute, Stocker providing a wicked outswinging cross which confused the Italian defence and allowed Frei to head in from close range. Greco made it 3-1 with a goal similar to Roma’s first effort before teenager Shaqiri scored from close range in the 83rd minute.
FC Basel 2
Frei (69), Shaqiri (83)
Menez (16), Totti (25), Greco (76)