MX23RW : Wednesday, August 4 00:49:05| >> :120:11119:11119:

Lack of cutting edge cost us against BATE Borisov - Cech

A Stanislav Dragun header on the stroke of half-time was enough to beat Arsenal.

Petr Cech felt a toothless attacking display from Arsenal was the reason behind their surprise Europa League defeat at BATE Borisov.

A Stanislav Dragun header on the stroke of half-time was enough for the Belarusian Premier League champions to seal a memorable 1-0 victory over a strong Arsenal side, who had striker Alexandre Lacazette sent off with five minutes remaining

Unai Emery made only two alterations from the team that had beaten Huddersfield on Saturday as Cech replaced Bernd Leno in goal and Granit Xhaka was recalled following a groin injury.

Belarus Soccer Europa League
Henrikh Mkhitaryan, left, missed a good chance for Arsenal (Sergei Grits/AP)

Henrikh Mkhitaryan missed a great chance in the opening 90 seconds before Lacazette headed badly over the crossbar when well-placed.

Cech pinpointed the lack of cutting edge in the Gunners' frontline, which did not include Mesut Ozil after Emery decided to leave the German at home.

"Yesterday it was one of those games where if we played for another couple of hours probably we wouldn't have scored," Cech said.

"But there are games in football like that. You try, you play, the goal does not arrive and you have to go home with the result you don't want but you have to pick yourself up and be ready for the second leg.

Belarus Soccer Europa League
Arsenal's Alexandre Lacazette, centre, was sent off late into the match (Sergei Grits/PA)

"This is the advantage of playing two-legged ties – when one game goes wrong you can always make up for it.

"We didn't take our chances. In the first-half in particular we played well and created enough chances to go ahead in the game but unfortunately we didn't take our chances and then we conceded in the last minute of the first half which obviously gave them a lot of confidence and belief.

"We wanted to score goals and win to put ourselves in a good position. We've left it more tricky for ourselves and we need to win at home."

Lacazette will now be banned for the second leg, which takes place at the Emirates Stadium early on Thursday evening.

Emery insisted after the defeat here that he "trusts" his players to turn the tie around in north London – with Cech echoing the sentiment of his coach.

"We had enough chances to win the game but we didn't," he added.

"We have to make sure we win the home leg and we go through. We have the whole 90 minutes to play for and I am sure we can do that."

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Arsenal striker Alexandre Lacazette gets a red Valentine's Day card in the Europa League clash with BATE Borisov on February 14, 2019
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Today's Olympic highlights header

Wednesday's key events


SKATEBOARDING
· Team GB starlet Sky Brown - aged just 13 - takes part in the women's park event and has a realistic chance of picking up a medal too. Bombette Martin is Britain's other representative, while hosts Japan are among the favourites for gold (1am)

HOCKEY
· Great Britain's women have more history in their sights heading into their semi-final against Netherlands - the team they beat in the 2016 gold medal match (2.30am)

ATHLETICS
· The men's 400m hurdles final on Tuesday will go down as one of the greatest Olympic races of all time, and the women will attempt to emulate that, with new world record holder Sydney McLaughlin of USA and Netherlands' Femke Bol the favourites for gold (3.30am)
· Nick Miller is Britain's representative in the men's hammer throw final (12.15pm)
· The men's 800m final could be a wide-open affair (1.05pm)
· A thrilling men's 200m final is in store as the likes of Andre de Grasse, Noah Lyles and 17-year-old sensation Erriyon Knighton bid to succeed Usain Bolt as Olympic champion (1.55pm)

SAILING
· After a medal-laden day on the water on Tuesday, Great Britain will be looking for more success, starting with Luke Patience and Chris Grube in the men's 470-class medal race (6.33am)
· Team GB also have medal hopes in the women's event, with defending champion Hannah Mills looking to retain her crown alongside new teammate Eilidh McIntyre (7.33am)

BOXING
· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Great Britain's Frazer Clarke faces Uzbekistan's Bakhodir Jalolov in the men's super heavyweight with a place in the gold medal bout up for grabs (7.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also guaranteed a medal, but will look to ensure that is either gold or silver as he takes on Cuba's Arlen Lopez in the light heavyweight final (7.35am)

CYCLING
· World records have been tumbling in the velodrome, and another could go in the men's team pursuit final as Italy - new world record holders themselves - face Denmark (10.06am)

EQUESTRIAN
· Three Brits have made into into the final of the men's jumping individual final, including fastest qualifier Ben Maher, who will bid to inherit compatriot Nick Skelton's Olympic crown (11am)

> Today's schedule in full
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