Basel and Zürich divide Swiss spoils

Published: Friday 20 May 2005, 9.08CET
Monthly review: FC Basel won the league and FC Zürich the cup as two Swiss powerhouses shared the top honours.
Published: Friday 20 May 2005, 9.08CET

Basel and Zürich divide Swiss spoils

Monthly review: FC Basel won the league and FC Zürich the cup as two Swiss powerhouses shared the top honours.
By Marco Keller

Two sides with great tradition shared the major honours in Switzerland this season with FC Basel 1893 successfully defending the Swiss Football League title and FC Zürich winning the Swiss Cup.

Thun held
Basel secured their eleventh title, fittingly on 11 May, by defeating FC St. Gallen 3-1. FC Thun, the only side in a position to catch them, saw their title hopes end when they were held to a 1-1 draw by their local rivals BSC Young Boys.

Gimenez scores
The Argentinian connection proved decisive again for the defending champions against St. Gallen - Christian Gimenez scored twice to bring his tally for the season to 27, including 12 in a run of five games, before his compatriot Julio Rossi sealed the win with a penalty.

Home form
Basel have only lost five matches over the season and are unbeaten at Saint Jakob Park since December 2002. Thun's consolation for finishing second was a berth in the qualifying round for the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League.

Impressive Zürich
After conceding the title to Basel, Thun were dealt a further blow on Thursday when they were comprehensively defeated 6-3 away to Zürich. Zürich also proved their class with a convincing 3-1 win against second division side FC Luzern in the Cup final on Monday. Zürich had looked vulnerable early on but soon took control, and goals from Marc Schneider, Alhassane Keita and Mihai Tararache put the tie beyond the underdogs.

European race
Competition for a place in the 2005/06 UEFA Cup sees a tight battle between Young Boys and Grasshopper-Club. Young Boys won the crucial match between the sides last Wednesday, with veteran Stéphane Chapuisat contributing one goal and two assists against his former club in the 3-2 victory. Young Boys are two points clear of fourth-placed Grasshoppers, though the latter do have a game in hand.

Schaffhausen still alive
At the bottom of the table, FC Schaffhausen have shown great character in narrowing the gap on FC Aarau recently, and overtook them on Wednesday with a 1-0 win. But Aarau can overhaul their rivals by winning their game in hand which could consign Schaffhausen to relegation along with Servette FC.

Sad news
Finally, Swiss football is in mourning following the death of former international player Gianpietro Zappa. Zappa, a tall central defender with a powerful shot, died of cancer aged 49.

Last updated: 20/05/05 16.37CET

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