BATE Borisov impressively emerged as the epitome of good sportsmanship on their match against domineering Arsenal, defeating the London-based football team on Thursday, 1-0.
The reigning champions of the Belarusian Premier League captured the first-leg advantage in the Europa League through the exemplary contribution of Stanislav Dragun.
Arsenal’s goalkeeper, Petr Čech, failed to protect the net, enabling the BATE Borisov midfielder to successfully execute the first-half header just seconds before the break.
Dragun was able to get his head towards the astonishing free kick by BATE Borisov captain Igor Stasevich, sending the soccer ball looping over the helpless Cech and within the far post.
Amid the lone score achieved by BATE Borisov, Arsenal appeared lacklustre in their performance, never threatening an equalizer at the Borisov Arena.
It was certainly a dreary day in Eastern Europe for Unai Emery’s team as they were not able to bag the win on the first leg of the Europa League’s round-of-32.
Arsenal’s disappointing performance initially started with the team dominating possession on the match.
However, they were not able to maintain their good start, missing myriads of opportunities to make a goal.
Arsenal’s 1-0 Europa League loss is further exacerbated by the unsportsmanlike conduct committed by Alexandre Lacazette.
With five minutes remaining in the game, the 27-year-old Arsenal forward failed to keep calm.
He deliberately elbowed BATE Borisov defender, Aleksandar Filipović, on the face, unfairly retaliating and venting his frustration.
Lacazette was consequently shown a red card and referee Srdjan Jovanovic immediately dismissed him from the game.
As a penalty for the unsportsmanlike foul he committed, the French forward is suspended from participating in his team’s upcoming excursion against BATE Borisov next week.
Thursday’s win by the Belarusian team is marked by the first goal of BATE Borisov in four Europa League knock-out ties.
Since December 13, BATE Borisov had not played a competitive football game, marking a nine-week break because they have been on a winter vacation.
Alyaksey Baha, the head coach of BATE Borisov, is very delighted following his team’s victory over the dominant Arsenal.
He remarked that he is most certain that they will accomplish the “big result” on their next excursion against Emery’s football squad in London’s Emirates Stadium on February 21.