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Zurich ease relegation fears

Zurich's Frédéric Chassot celebrates his match-winning goal Keystone

FC Zurich have won three vital points in their bid to avoid the relegation play-offs from the Swiss national football first division.

A single goal was enough to see off Aarau on Sunday, giving them a three-point buffer over the teams behind them at the bottom of the league.

The low-quality game failed to produce any sparks until Zurich’s trainer Gilbert Gress introduced his favourite joker, Frédéric Chassot, in the 75th minute.

The striker repaid his coach’s faith by scoring just five minutes later, heading in a corner kick from Georgian midfielder Gocha Jamarauli.

In Sunday’s other action Servette continued their losing streak against fellow French-Swiss clubs. One week after going down against Sion, the Geneva club lost to Neuchâtel Xamax 2-1.

For Xamax it was their first win since mid-August. Both goals came from Senegalese strikers, the first scored by Papa Boupa Diop, the second by Henri Camara.

Servette’s Lake Geneva rivals, Lausanne, were unable to follow on from their celebrated European win over Ajax, losing 2-0 at home to the defending champions St Gallen. Charles Amoah and Sascha Müller scored the goals.

Basel enjoyed a 2-1 win over Yverdon. The team from canton Vaud had opened the scoring in the first half thanks to Pascal Jenny, but Basel struck back after the break in just four minutes.

Mario Cantaluppi in the 64th, then Olivier Kreuzer, sealed the visitors’ fate. It was Yverdon’s sixth defeat in eight away matches this season.

Lugano, who lost on Saturday to Sion, are still top of the league after 16 rounds with 31 points. But St Gallen have now closed the gap to one point with Grasshoppers just two points off the lead on 29.

Zurich are now eighth with 19 points, three ahead of Yverdon and Aarau. Lucerne are 11th with 15 points, while Xamax remain in last position with just 11 points.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR