Sunday, June 24, 2018

UEFA Champions League Group F wrap: Bayern humbled in Belarus

SoccerNews in La Liga 2 Oct 2012


Bayern Munich’s nine-match winning streak came to an end in Minsk after a stunning 3-1 defeat to BATE Borisov.

The Bavarians dominated the match for long periods but fell behind to an Alexander Pavlov strike, before Vitali Rodionov doubled the advantage with under quarter of an hour remaining.

Bayern were offered a glimmer of hope when Franck Ribery struck a reply in the first minute of injury-time but the match was killed off by Renan Bressan four minutes later.

The hosts created the first opening of the match, with Rodionov forcing a sharp save from Manuel Neuer, before Bayern mustered a chance through Toni Kroos, whose shot crashed against the woodwork.

BATE responded with a goal against the run of play as Aleksandr Volodko played the ball through for Pavlov who swept home on 28 minutes.

The visitors replied with vigour, as Thomas Mueller’s header was acrobatically clawed behind by Andrey Gorbunov.

Bayern continued to press after the restart with Mario Manzukic coming close, but as the Germans poured bodies forward they left themselves susceptible to counterattacks.

BATE came close when Alexander Hleb played in Edgar Olekhnovich, who forced a superb save from Neuer with a ferocious right-footed strike from the edge of the area.

Former Barcelona man Hleb also played in Rodionov, who skewed his shot wide when he should have tested Neuer at the very least.

With 12 minutes remaining, any chances of a Bayern revival were dealt a critical blow as Hleb was the architect once more, playing in Rodionov, who played a slick one-two with Edgar Olekhnovich before slamming the ball past Neuer.

Bayern finally managed to pull one back in stoppage time when Ribery tucked home Xherdan Shaqiri’s through ball, but Bressan tucked home a prompt reply to seal a famous victory for BATE.

In the group’s other match, goals from Jonas in each half helped Valencia to a 2-0 victory over Lille at the Mestalla.

The Brazilian forward produced a clinical finish in the 37th minute after Lille had struggled to assert themselves on the game in the opening half.

Jonas’ second came rather fortuitously, with his looping cross deflecting off a defender and into goal after 75 minutes.

Despite some late attacking intent from the visitors, Valencia held on for the three points to move to second in the group, which is topped by surprise packets BATE, with Bayern third and Lille without a point in last place.


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