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First-half BATE blitz leaves Roma befuddled

BATE Borisov 3-2 Roma
BATE ensured Rudi Garcia's 100th match in charge of Roma was a disappointing one, stunning their opponents with three first-half goals.

Highlights: BATE 3-2 Roma
Highlights: BATE 3-2 Roma
  • Nikolai Signevich heads BATE into an eighth-minute lead
  • Left-back Filip Mladenović scores twice by the half-hour mark
  • Gervinho gives Roma hope midway through the second period
  • Vasilis Torosidis's 82nd-minute goal sets up a frantic finale
  • Next matches: BATE v Barcelona, Bayer Leverkusen v Roma (20 October)

Filip Mladenović struck twice as BATE Borisov recorded a memorable UEFA Champions League victory against Roma, resisting a second-half comeback from their Group E opponents after scoring three times in the first 30 minutes.

It made for a miserable 100th match in charge of the Giallorossi for Rudi Garcia. BATE had barely made an incursion of note into the visitors' penalty area when Nikolai Signevich threaded a pass to Maksim Volodko, whose cross from the byline flicked up for Mikhail Gordeichuk to stab an effort against the bar. Igor Stasevich gladly headed in the rebound.

One quickly became two, with Mladenović leaving Wojciech Szczęsny, returning from the finger injury he sustained on matchday one, red faced. With little on, the left-back unleashed a shot from around 30 metres that the Polish international, leaving a big gap at his near post, could not scamper across his line to keep out.

The home fans' state of disbelief heightened on the half-hour mark, Mladenović again on target. The left-back raced up field to support Volodko, took receipt of the winger's pass and fired over Szczęsny via the underside of the bar.

Garcia responded by bringing on Iago Falqué for UEFA Champions League debutant William Vainqueur before the half was out, yet the change initially did little to invigorate the Serie A side. Falqué, though, set up Gervinho to drive under Sergei Chernik midway through the second period and with Roma throwing everything at their hosts, Vasilis Torosidis turned in Lucas Digne's low delivery before Alessandro Florenzi rattled the crossbar.

BATE, however, held firm to register their first win in nine matches against Italian opposition and fourth successive home victory in this season's competition.

Key player: Filip Mladenović

Reaction
Aleksandr Yermakovich, BATE coach
I can't say BATE are ready to beat everyone – today our plan worked but I can't say it'll be the same tomorrow. Let's not get ahead of ourselves. We need to take it step by step. We were solid for 60–70 minutes. I don't distinguish between defenders and forwards, because we attack as a team and defend as a team. We talked a lot before the game about psychology, which is a key factor for us.

Rudi Garcia, Roma coach
We started quite well and created a few early chances but couldn't take them. We were unlucky. We hit the upright and the ball bounced out whereas in BATE's case it ended up in our net. However, it's not about luck – we're the ones to blame. They pressed us everywhere and were first to the loose ball. All three goals came down our right flank. We were better in the second half and could have pinched a draw.

©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images
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©AFP/Getty Images
©AFP/Getty Images