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Live Commentary: BATE Borisov 1-0 Arsenal - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's live coverage as BATE Borisov overcome Arsenal by a 1-0 scoreline in Thursday's Europa League last-32 tie in Belarus.
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Arsenal have slumped to a 1-0 defeat to BATE Borisov in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie on Thursday night.

The Premier League side had the better of the opening 45 minutes, but Stanislaw Dragun headed the home team into the lead just before the break.

Arsenal struggled in the second half, and their night went from bad to worse as Alexandre Lacazette was handed a straight red card for an elbow.

Find out how all of the action unfolded in Belarus courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates below.


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Hello and welcome to Sports Mole's live coverage of the match in the Europa League between BATE Borisov and Arsenal. The Gunners have made the trip to Eastern Europe as one of the favourites to win this competition, but the Belarusian champions are no strangers to facing English opposition and will fancy their chances this evening. As the two teams make their way out, let's take a look at the two starting lineups...

BATE BORISOV XI: Scherbitski; Ryas, Volkov, Filipenko, Filipovic; Baga, Dragun, Hleb; Milic, Skavysh, Stasevich

ARSENAL XI: Cech; Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal; Maitland-Niles, Guendouzi, Xhaka, Kolasinac; Mkhitaryan, Lacazette, Iwobi


KICKOFF:  Arsenal get us underway!

CHANCE!  Nearly the perfect start for Arsenal. Kolasinac is played in down the left and the wing-back's cross should be turned in by Mkhitaryan from around eight yards out, but Scherbitski somehow gets his body in the way to keep the effort out.

The other thing that we should note in these early stages is that the pitch is absolutely abysmal. BATE's season hasn't even started yet either! The freezing temperatures wouldn't have helped. It is currently -1C.

CHANCE!  Arsenal go agonisingly close yet again! Mkhitaryan's inswinging cross is flicked on towards the back post by Monreal, but Koscielny cannot get a decisive touch from a few yards out.

It remains all Arsenal in these early stages. It is noticeable that the BATE players are well short of match sharpness with their league campaign not beginning until the start of March.

YELLOW CARD!  Xhaka goes into the book for pulling back a BATE player as he attempted to break down the right.

Arsenal continue to see most of the ball, and they do look menacing when they burst forward. That said, BATE are starting to warm to the task a little more than they were doing.

SHOT!  This is a bit greedy from Skavysh, who attempts to score from an extremely tight angle rather than pick out a teammate. Cech is able to make the save, but only at the second time of asking.

Some of Arsenal's play in the middle of the park is on the sloppy side, with Guendouzi the biggest culprit. The youngster just lost the ball twice in quick succession.

The action have dried up at both ends for the time being. Arsenal haven't been able to build on their fast start, and may be ruing the fact that they are not already ahead.

BATE are putting nine men behind the ball and in their own defensive third each time that Arsenal have possession. Those tactics are starting to contribute to a scrappy game.

Guendouzi does brilliantly down the right-hand side of the penalty area, but the midfielder's low cross is well dealt with by the goalkeeper on his own line.

CHANCE!  Arsenal squander another opportunity. Kolasinac's cross to the back post finds Lacazette, but the Frenchman sends a free header over the crossbar from 10 yards out.

BATE go up the other end and apply some pressure of their own, but nothing comes from a corner after Mustafi had been forced to turn the ball behind at the near post.

This has developed into a competitive game. Arsenal have had the better chances, but BATE look a threat on the break and they are causing the visitors some problems.

CHANCE!  Big chance for BATE. Skavysh gets the better of Guendouzi on the byline and manages to find Milic with his cross, but the new signing can only flick wide from close range.

Arsenal need to be careful here. They know that they are several classes above their host, but BATE are starting to take over.

Kolasinac and Mkhitaryan have been Arsenal's best players. Kolasinac especially has caused BATE all kinds of problems down the left. He has effectively played like a left winger.

Arsenal put together a nice move in and around the penalty area, but the final ball towards Lacazette is over-hit and BATE have a goal kick.

The Gunners have seen more of the ball over the last few minutes and are now beginning to get on top. A goal for the visitors before the break would represent the perfect opening 45 minutes.

Arsenal continue to have possession of the ball but BATE are closing down the space in the final third. It's effectively a game of attack versus defence right now.

We haven't seen BATE pose any threat going forward for about 10 minutes. The home side are focused on defending right now, but it is a dangerous game to invite pressure from Arsenal.

Arsenal have really built a head of steam over the past few minutes, but their only chance has been a wild effort from Kolasinac from an acute angle. BATE will be encouraged that their opponents are starting to become frustrated.

GOAL!  BATE Borisov 1-0 Arsenal (Stanislaw Dragun)

BATE take the lead! Arsenal concede a free kick out on the right, and the outswinging delivery is headed into the far corner by Dragun. It's an excellent effort from 12 yards.

HALF TIME:  BATE Borisov 1-0 Arsenal

The half-time whistle goes in Belarus and BATE lead thanks to that goal just before the break. Arsenal have dominated the ball and had the better chances, but they are behind! Much for Emery to ponder at the break...

A reminder that we will also be providing coverage of the game between Malmo and Chelsea this evening. That fixture will get underway shortly after the conclusion of the match in Belarus.

KICKOFF:  BATE get us back underway.

Arsenal begin the second half brightly with Kolasinac winning a corner for his side after getting to the byline, but BATE are able to deal with the set piece.

Iwobi does well down the right and floats a cross towards the back post where Maitland-Niles and Mkhitaryan are waiting, but neither player can get a decisive touch on the ball.

SHOT!  Lacazette attempts a shot from all of 25 yards but despite getting plenty behind his swerving effort, the goalkeeper makes a comfortable save.

It remains all Arsenal at the start of this second half, but BATE are not having to deal with much danger in their defensive third. Emery must be considering a change.

DISALLOWED GOAL!  Arsenal have the ball in the back of the net as Lacazette converts from close range after meeting Kolasinac's low cross, but the forward is ruled offside. It could not be any tighter.

SUBSTITUTION! BATE make the first alteration of the contest as Berezkin replaces former Arsenal playmaker Hleb.

We go through an hour and Arsenal remain without a goal against a side who they would have expected to beat comfortably. Emery surely has to introduce both Suarez and Aubameyang.

SHOT!  Stasevich beats the Arsenal offside trap but opts to take a shot on from distance. His volley from 25 yards is well-struck but Cech makes the parried save.

The pitch is not going to help Arsenal get back into this match. It is beginning to cut up and Arsenal may need to start to go the direct route.

Arsenal are still looking to push forward, but they are really struggling to get anything going. The pitch resembles your old-school English non-league pitch.

Arsenal win a corner on the left and the midfielder does not beat the first man, who is standing 10 yards away from him. It's a shocking attempt at a set piece.

SUBSTITUTIONS! Arsenal make a double change. Torreira and Aubameyang are being introduced for Xhaka and Maitland-Niles. As for BATE, Dubajic is taking the place of Milic.

YELLOW CARD!  Dubajic wastes no time in picking up a yellow card for a cynical jump into Koscielny when challenging for a high ball.

SHOT!  Arsenal go close through Kolasinac. The wing-back is played in down the left and he attempts to find the far corner from an acute angle, but the Bosnian does not get the required swerve on his effort and the ball goes wide.

SUBSTITUTION! Emery makes his final change as Suarez is introduced for Kolasinac. Bit of a surprise, that.

We head into the closing quarter-of-an-hour and Arsenal could do with an away goal to take into next week's second leg. It would not be a disaster if they don't, but they would have expected to have netted a couple in this game. It just hasn't worked since the opening quarter.

Arsenal are beginning to win a number of corners, but they have not posed much threat from set pieces all match. Kolasinac had been the danger man, but he has been substituted.

SUBSTITUTION! BATE make their final change with Moukam coming on for Skavysh.

Cech has not looked convincingly all evening, and the veteran stopper again fails to successfully claim the ball from a cross. Arsenal clear the danger, but they aren't going to be left feeling reassured by their goalkeeper.

Arsenal have their two main strikers on the pitch, but they simply aren't making a dent in the home side. They are not being provided with any kind of service.

RED CARD!  This is a disaster for Arsenal, especially with the second leg in mind. Lacazette has been sent off for an elbow on Filipovic, who had grabbed him by the waist. He can have no complaints.

Arsenal have just won yet another corner but again, it came to nothing. They have wasted every set piece that they have won this evening.

There will be four minutes of added-on time.

Arsenal are applying pressure but it is simply not enough. BATE are two minutes away from a massive win in terms of the tie and their history.

FULL TIME:  BATE Borisov 1-0 Arsenal

The full-time whistle goes in Belarus and BATE Borisov have held on for a famous 1-0 win! Arsenal really struggled during that second half and have it all to do next week!

That will be all from Sports Mole for this match. If you would like to read our on-the-whistle match report, you can do so by clicking here. Goodbye for now.


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Unai Emery during an Arsenal training session on February 13, 2019
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