FC Basel 1893 are savouring their 13th Swiss title after triumphing 2-0 at BSC Young Boys in a final-day showdown with their closest rivals.
Young Boys led Basel by an incredible 13 points last September after the Rotblau struggled to cope following coach Christian Gross's departure for VfB Stuttgart, but the two teams were level as they headed into the final fixture. A draw would have favoured Basel, who enjoyed the advantage on goal difference, yet it was they who began brightest in front of 31,000 spectators in Berne.
Gross's replacement Thorsten Fink opted to leave star strikers Alexander Frei and Marco Streller on the bench, but midfielder Valentin Stocker put the visitors ahead on 39 minutes, chipping the ball over Young Boys goalkeeper Marco Wölfli after being set up by Carlitos. That allowed Basel to sit back and attack on the counter, and they proved too organised to allow the hosts a lifeline. Instead, Scott Chipperfield increased the lead with a precise header on the hour mark to seal the result, with Xavier Hochstrasser then dismissed for Young Boys with four minutes remaining.
Afterwards, Fink toasted what he judged "a huge success, which I certainly did not expect after our scrappy start to the season". At no point did he doubt his team's quality, however. "
We never questioned our potential," he explained.