Barysaw (Belarus), Feb 15 (IANS ) Belarusian club BATE Borisov stunned English Premier League side Arsenal 1-0 in the first-leg, round-of-32 action in the Europa League, while Sevilla and Inter Milan both scored away victories by that same score.
Arsenal, who enjoyed a 22-match unbeaten stretch across all competitions between mid-August and mid-December, have been shaky since that streak was snapped in a loss to Southampton on December 16 and on Thursday suffered one of their worst defeats of the season at Borisov Arena, reports Efe.
The Belarusian side notched up the lone goal of the match toward the end of the first half when Stanislaw Drahun headed home a cross by Ihar Stasevich in a set piece.
Arsenal’s attack was stymied throughout the match and the situation became more dire when French striker Alexandre Lacazette was sent off for throwing an elbow at Aleksandar Filipovic in the 85th minute.
Arsenal are still alive in the Europa League, Europe’s secondary club competition, but now will need a strong showing in the February 21 second leg at Emirates Stadium in London.
Elsewhere in round-of-32 action, Wissam Ben Yedder scored on a pass from Pablo Sarabia in the 22nd minute to lead Sevilla to a 1-0 victory over Lazio at the Stadio Olimpico in Rome.
Afterward, Sevilla head coach Pablo Machin said he was pleased with his team’s performance but had the sense that his men could have scored a second goal.
‘Unfortunately we weren’t precise in the final touch. We didn’t have that precision that would have allowed us to score another goal. We would’ve deserved it,’ Machin said.
Sevilla will host Lazio on February 20 in the second leg at Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium in Seville, Spain.
Inter Milan, meanwhile, also won on the road in their first-leg, round-of-32 contest against Rapid Wien in Vienna thanks to Lautaro Martinez’s penalty conversion in the 39th minute.
Inter was able to get the win despite the absence of star forward Mauro Icardi, whose future with the Nerazzurri is in doubt after he was stripped of the club captaincy this week and refused to make the trip to Vienna.
In other Europa League round-of-32, first-leg results on Thursday, Bayer Leverkusen and Krasnodar played to a scoreless draw, Real Betis and Rennes drew 3-3, Dynamo Kyiv and Olympiacos tied 2-2, Fenerbahce topped Zenit Saint Petersburg 1-0 and Benfica edged Galatasaray 2-1.
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