Basel coach hails Egypt's Elneny after Europa League progress

Ahram Online , Friday 27 Nov 2015

Mohamed Elneny
Fiorentina's Croatian forward Nikola Kalinic (L) challenges Basel's Egyptian midfielder Mohamed Elneny during the UEFA Europa League group I football match between Basel and Fiorentina at the St Jakob stadium in Basel on November 26, 2015 (Photo: AFP)

Basel coach Urs Fischer lavished praise on Egypt's in-form midfielder Mohamed Elneny after his brilliant volley helped the team advance to the Europa League round of 32 following an exciting 2-2 draw at home to Italy's Fiorentina on Thursday.

Elneny, who also scored to earn his side a 2-1 victory at Fiorentina in September, haunted his former coach at Basel, Paulo Sousa, once again when his unstoppable volley from the edge of the area deprived the Italian side of a crucial victory on 74 minutes.

The win lifted Basel to the knockout phase as they top Group I with 10 points, three ahead of Fiorentina and five clear of third-placed Lech Poznan of Poland with one game to spare.

"Mohamed as always, exerted huge efforts and ran a lot. If he is also a threat on goal, this is all the more gratifying," Fischer was quoted as saying by Swiss media following the match.

Last month, European governing body UEFA said Elneny "has completed the most passes of any Europa League player this season."

Elneny has scored four goals in all competitions so far this term, including one in the Swiss league and one in the domestic cup.

The 23-year-old, a regular member of Egypt's squad, has won three Swiss league titles with Basel since joining in January 2013.

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