Basel made a decent start, and twice broke down the left to test the Chelsea defence.
Chelsea struggled to get to grips with Basel's quick play in the opening 10 minutes, and Jose Mourinho's mood wasn't helped when Cech launched a goal kick out for a Basel throw.
Despite a brief break in the pattern of play, the Swiss side came back at Chelsea and Cech had to be alert to tip Fabian Frei's shot wide of the post.
From the resulting corner, Jon Obi Mikel was forced to clear off the line as the hosts pushed for the opening goal.
Cech then saved his side again after his defence failed to clear a cross and Salah had poked towards goal.