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FC Basel - Chelsea: 1-2

David-Luiz-2When it comes to European competition, Chelsea know how to save the best until last, David Luiz's free-kick in the fourth and final minute of added time giving the Blues a 2-1 win in the first leg of their UEFA Europa League semi-final at FC Basel.

David Luiz's added-time free-kick earned the visitors a valuable first-leg lead after a Fabian Schär penalty looked set to salvage a draw for Basel.

It had seemed that Rafael Benítez's side would pay for missing a string of chances when Fabian Schär stroked in an 87th-minute penalty to cancel out Victor Moses' first-half header. Instead, Chelsea summoned up the spirit of Munich – scene of their dramatic UEFA Champions League triumph last term – as Luiz put them in pole position for the Stamford Bridge return next week.

Chelsea's nous in the latter stages of UEFA club competitions was evident in their confident start, with César Azpilicueta serenely gliding down the right and supplying Frank Lampard, whose toe-poke was repelled by Yann Sommer. Lampard soon helped to find an away goal for the Premier League side, though, supplying a corner that evaded Branislav Ivanović only to be nodded in by Moses.

Nor was that the visitors' only incursion into Basel territory during the first half. Eden Hazard enjoyed two excellent chances, the best of which was set up by the lively Moses, who also teamed up with Lampard to feed Ramires in space, forcing Sommer to make a one-handed stop from his angled shot. By the break, Murat Yakin's team had only truly tested Petr Čech with a venomous deflected Schär free-kick that was tipped over the bar.

The Basel faithful were almost energised by the scale of their first-half reprieve, allowing for a more enterprising start to the second period. Within two minutes of the restart Valentin Stocker had struck the foot of the post with Čech stranded; Fernando Torres replied in kind at the other end, blasting left-footed against the woodwork. The like-for-like trading of chances continued, with Torres being defied by Sommer's scrambling save, before Marcelo Díaz swept over from 12 metres.

Home enthusiasm for the task was nonetheless unwavering, and Schär's spot kick earned parity on the night following Azpilicueta's foul on Stocker. It would prove short-lived. Sommer made a miraculous save to repel John Terry's header but was powerless to keep out Luiz's set piece in a dramatic finale.

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Cricket - Duo drafted into Ashes squad

Scott Borthwick and James Tredwell have been drafted into England's Ashes squad following the shock retirement of Graeme Swann. Swann announced he was quitting all forms of cricket over the weekend, midway through a disastrous Ashes tour which has seen England meekly hand over the little urn to the Australians. They are currently trailing 3-0 with two Tests to play. Durham leg-spinner Borthwick, 23, and Kent off-spinner Tredwell, 31, have been introduced to the side as a consequence, although it is unlikely they will feature in the fourth Test, which is set to begin on Boxing Day at the MCG. They could play in Sydney's fifth and final Test though. Speaking about the call-up, Tredwell admitted his main role was to provide cover for Monty Panesar. He said: "I'm cover for that final Test in Sydney where it has been known to turn. It provides cover for Monty in case of an injury. The way I'm looking at it is potentially they may play two spinners [in Sydney]." England are 7/2 with bet365 to win the fourth Test, while Australia can be backed at 8/11 to triumph. The draw is 3/1.

Soccer - Mourinho wary of Ozil class

Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is wary of Arsenal's Mesut Ozil ahead of Monday evening's clash between the two sides. Ozil has scored five times in 20 games for Arsene Wenger's outfit since his £42.5million move from Real Madrid over the summer. However, he has combined well with the likes of Olivier Giroud and Aaron Ramsey, and Mourinho believes that the German's presence has turned the Gunners into true title contenders. Arsenal are 9/2 with bet365 to win the Premier League title this season and will go back to the top of the table with a win against the Blues. However, Chelsea will go joint-top with Liverpool should they pick up all three points at the Emirates. Ozil is 9/1 to open the scoring and Mourinho is in no doubt of his qualities. He said: "Mesut is a phenomenal player, one of these players that you buy to complete the puzzle of your team. "You don't need time with him, you need nothing. The player just arrives. His quality and his maturity and his leadership … you put him in and you know automatically your team becomes better. "And now, when you buy Giroud and now Ozil and some other players, the team becomes much better and ready to be doing what they are doing which is to fight for the title." Arsenal are 29/20 to win the match, with the draw 12/5 and Chelsea 21/10. bet365's fantastic free In-Play bet offer returns for Arsenal v Chelsea! Simply place a bet before kick-off, then once the game starts place another bet on any In-Play market. If your FIRST In-Play bet loses bet365 will refund this stake. With over 70 In-Play markets to choose from, bet365 is the number one place for all your Soccer betting.

Soccer - Milner targets defensive improvement

James Milner says Manchester City are hoping to become more Scrooge-like in defence over the busy Christmas period. City's frontline has received many plaudits this season, having scored 51 goals in the league so far, but their defence has let them down. This was evident in their 4-2 win over Fulham on Saturday and Milner admits that his side needs to tighten up if they are to win the Premier League for the second time in three years. Milner said: "You can't get anywhere without scoring goals, but as a side that's looking to improve, we can improve at the other end as a team. Hopefully we can get a few more clean sheets which will be more important as the season goes on. At the moment we are scoring enough to win games. We need to work on the mistakes." City are currently one point behind Premier League leaders Liverpool, the side they face next at the Etihad on Boxing Day. The Reds are 7/2 to win the match

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