UEFA Champions League: Bayern mauled by Borisov in Minsk


Thu, Oct 04, 2012 - Page 18

Bayern Munich’s hopes of progressing to the knockout phase of the UEFA Champions League suffered a mauling in Minsk on Tuesday as they slumped to a shock 3-1 defeat at Belarussian champions BATE Borisov.

“This is a sensational result for us, we will celebrate a bit, but we need to keep working hard,” BATE’s former Arsenal star Aleksandr Hleb said. “Bayern are still favorites in our group, we are taking it one match at a time.It was a very difficult match, but we fought until the end.”

With the Group F match held at Dinamo Stadium in Minsk, Bayern’s defense leaked goals either side of halftime as midfielder Aleksandr Pavlov, then striker Vitali Rodionov put BATE on the way to their second straight European win.

France winger Franck Ribery pulled back a late consolation in the 91st minute, but a brilliant Renan Bressan goal from a counterattack, 10 minutes after he came off the bench, left Bayern well beaten.

“I already knew before the game that we would be facing very good opponents and you have to take your chances to go ahead,” Bayern coach Jupp Heynckes said after midfielder Toni Kroos hit the post early on.

Having won 3-1 at LOSC Lille Metropole in France in their first match, victory in Minsk leaves BATE top of Group F, while Bayern failed to back up their opening 2-1 home win over Valencia, scoring one goal, despite 20 shots on target and 43 crosses.

It was Bayern’s first competitive match against a side from Belarus, but it proved to be a long flight back to Munich as the hosts claimed a deserved win.

Kroos squandered a great chance to put Bayern ahead when he rounded BATE goalkeeper Andrei Gorbunov, but his shot hit the post.

After a clever pass from rightback Denis Polyakov, BATE’S Pavlov gave Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer no chance with a low shot to put the hosts ahead on 23 minutes.

Munich were finally floored when Rodionov exchanged passes with midfielder Edgar Olekhnovich which put the striker clear, and he brushed off both Bayern defenders Jerome Boateng and Dante to fire home on 78 minutes.

A superb through pass from Bayern midfielder Xherdan Shaqiri was drilled home by Ribery in stoppage-time to give the guests hope, but with the Bayern defense all at sea, substitute Dmitri Mozolevsky sprinted clear and passed to Bressan in the 94th minute to compound Bayern’s misery.