Ranieri masterstroke gives Roma victory
© AFP

An inspired substitution by Claudio Ranieri saw Leandro Greco score within a minute of coming on to give Roma a 3-2 victory over Basel in their UEFA Champions League Group E clash. Greco, who came on for Roma's opening goalscorer, Jeremy Menez, struck in the 76th minute to give the visitors a 3-1 lead before the hosts grabbed a late second through Xherdan Shaqiri.

Roma took the lead in the 16th minute after Menez reacted quickest when Mirko Vucinic was dispossessed by the Basel defence to rifle the ball home. It was cruel luck on the Swiss side as they had dominated the opening part of the match but they only really tested Julio Sergio once when he managed to save from Benjamin Huggel.

Roma went 2-0 up in the 25th minute when talisman Francesco Totti converted a penalty after former Liverpool left-back John Arne Riise was brought down in the area by young midfielder Valentin Stocker.

Basel kept trying to get back into the match but had little to show for all their effort, despite some neat touches from highly-rated youngster Shaqiri, but only Marco Streller was able to test Julio Sergio before the break.

However, the hosts reduced the deficit in the 69th minute as evergreen veteran Alexander Frei stooped to head home. The visitors restored their two-goal advantage when Greco scored with a rasping shot.

Basel battled on and Shaqiri was rewarded for an impressive performance by hitting the back of the net with seven minutes remaining after he reacted quickest when Huggel's goalbound effort was blocked.