Fiorentina had everything going for them but they were unable to close out the game. Despite the fact that they played with 10 men for the majority of the match they managed to jump to a two-goal advantage in the first half but instead of putting the game away, they allowed FC Basel to come back and they ended up settling for a 2-2 draw in a tight encounter played at St. Jakob-Park.
Fiorentina dominates early on
The first half was pretty open and both teams managed to create some decent chances although Fiorentina always looked like the better side. Paulo Sousa's team was controlling the tempo of the game and they were generating the best chances so it wasn't unexpected that they scored the first goal - a stunning strike from Federico Bernardeschi who took advantage of a pass from Borja Valero to net the opener for the Viola side.
The Italians complicated things for themselves a few minutes later when Argentine defender Facundo Roncaglia was sent off for elbowing an opposition player. A few moments later Josip Ilicic had to leave the game due to injury. Instead of sitting back, however, Fiorentina managed to add another goal when Bernadeschi doubled his tally. This time, the 21-year-old netted from close range following a pass from Nicola Kalinic.
Basel reacted after the second goal
Basel finally woke up after they conceded the first goal and they pulled one back a few minutes before the break. A cross from the right side from Marek Suchy who nodded the ball home and while his initial effort was denied by the keeper, the Czech defender pounced on the rebound to shorten the gap just before half-time.
Basel looked like a more aggressive side in the second half and they often generated clear scoring chances, most notably thanks to Marc Janko and Breel Embolo. Fiorentina tried to adopt a counter-attacking strategy but they looked sluggish out there and they were really uncomfortable. The hosts missed on a few scoring chances but they finally managed to equalise the game in the 74th minute when Mohamed Elneny took advantage of a pass from Suchy to blast a precise right-footed shot from outside the box straight into the right side of the goal.
Basel advances to the next round
The match ended with a 2-2 draw and while Fiorentina should be pleased with the result considering they played almost 70 minutes with 10 players, the reality is that they could've easily won the game had they been a bit more accurate on the defensive end. Basel, on the other hand, secured a place in the tournament's next round with one match left to go on the Group Stage.