Shakhtar Donetsk 4-1 Basel: Taison and Marlos star to secure Inter semi-final in Europa League

By Sports Desk August 11, 2020

Shakhtar Donetsk eased past Basel 4-1 on Tuesday to book an intriguing Europa League semi-final against Inter.

The 2008-09 UEFA Cup winners made light work of their Swiss opponents in Gelsenkirchen after scoring early through Moraes.

Taison doubled Shakhtar's lead and further goals could and perhaps should have followed long before Alan Patrick's penalty made it three as Basel were dominated in the one-legged last-eight tie.

Shakhtar, who got a late fourth through Dodo, will surely now back themselves to at least cause Antonio Conte's Inter problems next week, although this routine victory did little to test their readiness.

Luis Castro's side led after just 100 seconds with the aid of some generous goalkeeping from stand-in Djordje Nikolic.

Marlos delivered a corner from the right and Nikolic, playing due to Jonas Omlin's injury, lunged hopelessly towards the ball, granting Moraes an open goal when he got there first with the header.

Afimico Pululu shot agonisingly across the face of goal at the other end, but Shakhtar remained in control and the second soon followed.

A speedy break from halfway resulted in Marlos controlling on the right corner of the box, taking his time to pick out Taison, whose wayward attempt was deflected high into the net by Fabian Frei.

Nikolic saved smartly from Moraes and was alert again as Marlos rifled an effort goalwards from 20 yards, before Marcos Antonio swept a stunning strike against the crossbar.

Basel belatedly enjoyed a better spell just after the hour mark, but a VAR review did not provide Pululu with a penalty and then Arthur Cabral squandered a big opportunity, lifting his finish wide of goal with Andriy Pyatov stranded.

There would be no fightback as Taison went over in the area and a spot-kick did this time follow, allowing Alan Patrick to calmly beat a scrambling Nikolic.

There was still time for Dodo to thump in number four following Mateus Tete's well-timed pass on the counter, with Ricky van Wolfswinkel's stoppage-time tap-in from Kemal Ademi's centre the scantest of consolations. 


What does it mean? Elite European experience tells

This Shakhtar side are experienced campaigners in continental competition and made the most of the absence of a couple of key men in the Basel XI, with Nikolic and centre-back Jasper van der Werff each struggling.

The Ukrainians showed their nous throughout a comfortable triumph, pouncing on Basel's errors while making few of their own. Inter should prove a different proposition.

Marvellous Marlos dazzles

Shakhtar's best work was channelled through Marlos, who excelled from set-pieces and so often picked the right pass in open play – as evidenced by his assists.

The second goal in particular came courtesy of the winger's calm in the final third. With Shakhtar players bombing forward, Marlos steadied himself and, when he might have rushed a shot, teed up Taison.

Nikolic nixes Basel hopes

Shakhtar were clear favourites coming into this clash, but Basel did not need to look far for inspiration. Quarter-final underdogs Copenhagen had taken Manchester United to extra-time on Monday.

But where Copenhagen kept things tight and relied on a standout performance from their goalkeeper, Basel's Nikolic quickly erred. The inexperienced 23-year-old was foolishly tempted from his line with less than two minutes on the clock and gave his side a mountain to climb.

What's next?

Shakhtar might find next opponents Inter a little less accommodating when they meet in Dusseldorf next Monday.

Related items

  • Arteta predicts 'busy' finish to transfer window, has no update on Aouar Arteta predicts 'busy' finish to transfer window, has no update on Aouar

    Mikel Arteta expects a busy finish to the transfer window, but the Arsenal manager had no update regarding Houssem Aouar.

    Arsenal have been heavily linked with a move for Lyon star Aouar ahead of the transfer window closing on October 5.

    Asked about Aouar after a 3-1 Premier League loss to Liverpool on Monday, Arteta had no update, but he predicted a frantic finish to the transfer period.

    "We don't have any news on new players and either with players that might leave the football club," he told a news conference.

    "It's a week to go, I think it's going to be really busy for other clubs because not much business has been done.

    "Let's see what happens."

    Arteta added: "I think it will be busy for the Premier League. Busy for us, I don't know how it is going to happen."

    Arsenal's loss to Liverpool was their first of the Premier League season and they sit fifth in the table.

  • Aulas sets Friday deadline for Lyon departures amid Depay, Aouar links Aulas sets Friday deadline for Lyon departures amid Depay, Aouar links

    Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has set a Friday deadline for any departures from the Ligue 1 club amid talk about Memphis Depay and Houssem Aouar.

    Depay has been heavily linked with a move to Barcelona, while Aouar is reportedly a target for Arsenal.

    But while the transfer window closes on October 5, Aulas wants any departures from Lyon to be confirmed by Friday.

    "I believe that we will tell the players that for everything that will not be settled in terms of departure before Friday, there will be no departure," he told Telefoot on Monday.

    "For us, the date of the transfer window will be Friday. I think to propose it tomorrow [Tuesday] to Rudi [Garcia, coach] and Juni [Juninho, sporting director].

    "We realise that there is something wrong. It can be that and many other things. Friday, players who have not left will not leave."

    Lyon have made a slow start to the Ligue 1 season, collecting just six points from their opening five games.

  • Genoa confirm 14 positive cases of coronavirus Genoa confirm 14 positive cases of coronavirus

    Serie A side Genoa have announced 14 people at the club have returned positive tests for coronavirus.

    The cases, from among the playing squad and other staff, were confirmed following the 6-0 league defeat to Napoli on Sunday.

    "The club has activated all the procedures as per the protocol and informed the authorities. The club will give updates as the situation evolves," Genoa said in a statement on Monday.

    This news means Saturday's scheduled game against Torino could now be in doubt.

    It also means Napoli will likely need to carry out tests of their squad before Sunday's clash with champions Juventus.

    Sampdoria also confirmed on Monday that forward Keita Balde had tested positive for COVID-19 and will now follow the necessary health protocols.

    The player is due to join Sampdoria from Monaco this week on loan.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.