Last week in Belarus is still a very raw memory. On a ploughed field of a pitch Arsenal had a miserable night. Controlling or passing the ball with any efficiency was very difficult. Stanislaw Drahun’s goal on the stroke of half-time was just reward for Bate’s efforts. Alexandre Lacazette let his frustration boil over when he elbowed Aleksandar Filipovic late on, receiving a straight red card. Hopefully his absence from the home tie will not be too costly.
Bate Borisov’s away record in Europe includes all sorts of Champions League and Europa qualifying games along with group games in both competitions, plus a sprinkling of InterToto matches. In other words, it includes matches against a wide range of opposition in terms of quality.
Bate Borisov all European away games ——-
This is the 3rd time they’ve reached the Round of 32 in the Europa Cup. On the previous two occasions they were narrowly knocked out by PSG in 2011 on away goals, and in 2013 by Fenerbahce with an aggregate score of only 1-0.
The only other time we’ve played Bate Borisov at home was last season in the Europa League group stage.
Group H – 7th December 2017 – Arsenal 6 Bate 0
Neither Jack Wilshere nor Theo Walcott had started a Premier League game for Arsenal in the 2017/8 season before being given a starting berth against Bate in December. With the group wrapped up, Arsene Wenger could afford to field a largely second string selection.
Mathieu Debuchy opened the scoring with a thumping angled drive (a goal Fred remembers well, since he was, allegedly, in the upper tier that night).
Theo scored a simple second before Jack smacked in a similar goal to The Boosh’s but from the other side of the area. An own goal, a pen from big Ollie and a superb first time curler from Mo Elneny sealed a comfortable win.
Let’s hope Bate travel as badly this time around, but with a goal start, they might prove a sterner test.