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Basel given Champions League masterclass

FC Basel, Switzerland's sole representatives in the Champions League, football's most prestigious club tournament, have been routed 5-0 by Barcelona.

Barcelona's Lionel Messi scored in the fourth minute, Sergi Busquets made it 2-0 in the 15th and teenager Bojan Krkic got a third in the 22nd.

Krkic and Xavi Hernandez added two more in the opening three minutes of the second half.

Playing on a soaked pitch in a steady drizzle, Barcelona rained chances on the Basel goal. The Swiss defence were wholly unable to deal with their opponents and the final result could have easily been even more embarrassing.

Basel coach Christian Gross conceded that the game was effectively over when the Spanish side scored their second goal.

"It was brutally difficult after that against such a strong opponent," he said.

Gross stood by his decision to field an attacking formation with two strikers. "We needed to win the game," he said.

Barcelona head Group C with nine points from three games. Basel are last without a point.

The sides meet again in Barcelona in two weeks.


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