Real Madrid CF had not lost consecutive games in the UEFA Champions League group stage for nine campaigns and were jolted when Juventus beat them twice, although victory against FC BATE Borisov could still seal qualification.
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Home-and-away defeats against Juventus have jolted Real Madrid CF's confidence in their UEFA Champions League campaign but they still lie in second place in Group H and will be hoping to get back on an even keel when they travel to face FC BATE Borisov, who lie at the foot of the section with just two points.
• While BATE were denied in their quest for a first UEFA Champions League victory when they lost at home to FC Zenit St. Petersburg on Matchday 4, Madrid's hopes of gaining revenge on Juventus also came unstuck on home soil. Having gone down to the Italian giants two weeks previously, Los Merengues knew they would have their work cut out in the return but it was still a huge disappointment to be on the wrong end of a 2-0 defeat. A superb goal in each half from Juventus captain Alessandro Del Piero secured a place in the first knockout round for the Turin side with two matches to spare.
• For the Spanish champions it was the first time they had lost successive group games since 1999/00. On that occasion Madrid lost 4-2 at home and 4-1 away against FC Bayern München in the second group stage – although they went on to finish second in Group C and ultimately lifted the trophy.
• This time round Madrid can follow Juve into the next stage should they win in Belarus and the Italian side avoid defeat away to Zenit. For BATE the situation is clear: they must win or their slim qualifying chances will end.
• When the teams met on Matchday 1 at the Santiago Bernabéu, Sergio Ramos and Ruud van Nistelrooy were on the scoresheet as Madrid ran out 2-0 winners. On their debut in the competition, Viktor Goncharenko's team did not offer a huge threat and were hampered by the 62nd-minute dismissal of Anri Khagush for a second yellow card, although they already trailed 2-0 by that point.
• After that BATE forged 2-0 ahead against Juventus with goals from Sergei Kryvets and Igor Stasevich in the opening 23 minutes on Matchday 2, but eventually had to settle for a 2-2 draw.
• At least holding the 1996 UEFA Champions League winners to a draw gave the team, who last month became only the second Belarussian club to win five Vysshaya Liga titles, encouragement for the double-header with Zenit. In the first game in St Petersburg, BATE were ten minutes away from securing that elusive first victory after substitute Pavel Nekhaychik had applied a cool finish but Fatih Tekke evaded the BATE offside trap to fire past Sergei Veremko and earn Zenit a point.
• BATE hoped the maiden UEFA Champions League success would come in the home game with Zenit two weeks later but instead it was the visitors who reached that landmark. Pavel Pogrebnyak ended his goal drought to put the visitors on their way and although they lost Sébastien Puygrenier to a red card midway through the second half, Danny sealed the 2-0 win four minutes into stoppage time.
• Before the game on 17 September, the Madrid club had never previously faced opposition from Belarus in a competitive fixture, while BATE had met a Spanish team just once previously. That came in last season's UEFA Cup first round when they took on Villarreal CF, losing 2-0 at home having already gone down 4-1 in the away leg.
• On Matchday 2 Madrid won 2-1 at Zenit after an own goal by Tomáš Hubočan put them in front. After Danny had levelled, the nine-time European champions got their noses in front again as Van Nistelrooy took advantage of more defensive uncertainty to secure the points.
• They followed that with the away game against Juventus when Del Piero was on the scoresheet again. Amauri made it 2-0 and while Van Nistelrooy's 66th-minute header cut the arrears that was as good as it got for Bernd Schuster's team.