Tuesday, March 28, 2017

BATE 3 Roma 2: Mladenovic double stuns visitors

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 29 Sep 2015

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Filip Mladenovic was the unlikely hero for the hosts in Borisov, as his two goals helped BATE record a shock 3-2 win over Roma in Group E of the Champions League.

The left-back twice blasted shots beyond Wojciech Szczesny to help his side secure a famous result, although they were forced to cling on in the closing stages as Roma mounted a spirited fightback.

Igor Stasevich had broken the deadlock as BATE stunned their opponents with three first-half goals on the way to making it a miserable 100th game in charge for Roma manager Rudi Garcia.

Gervinho and Vasilis Torosidis replied after the break, but the Serie A side’s inadequacies at the back – they have now failed to keep a clean sheet in Champions League action for 18 consecutive matches – cost them dear.

Their hopes of marking their manager’s milestone with a win were rocked by a shocking first-half display in which BATE struck three times in the opening half an hour.

The deadlock was broken after only eight minutes, Stasevich popping up at the far post to head home the rebound after Mikhail Gordeichuk’s effort had struck the bar.

Mladenovic doubled the home side’s advantage when he embarrassed Szczesny from long range.

Positioning himself for a potential cross into the area, the Roma goalkeeper was unable to move quickly enough to his right to deal with a speculative long-range shot from out wide.

The Poland international – who is on a season-long loan deal at the Serie A club from Arsenal – hardly covered himself in glory with the third BATE goal, again scored by Mladenovic.

The left-back galloped onto Maksim Volodko’s inside pass before unleashing a powerful strike that flashed over the head of Szczesny and into the far corner of the net.

Garcia spent much of the first 45 minutes scribbling down notes, though he did look up from his piece of paper long enough to order a tactical change, sending on Iago Falque to replace Champions League debutant William Vainqueur.

Any hopes of a comeback required a quick goal, but they had to wait until 20 minutes after the break to grab a lifeline.

Falque set up the chance for Gervinho to finally beat Sergey Chernik, and nerves were jangling among the home fans when half-time replacement Torosidis turned home a second with eight minutes remaining.

Roma came agonisingly close to an equaliser almost immediately afterwards, but Alessandro Florenzi’s thumping effort ricocheted off the bar and away to safety.

That, though, was as close as Roma came to rescuing anything from the match. The result leaves them bottom of a group that also contains Barcelona and Bayer Leverkusen.

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