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Brilliant BATE catch AZ cold

FC BATE Borisov 4-1 AZ Alkmaar
The Belarusian titleholders took command of Group E with a dominant display over their Dutch rivals in Minsk.

Pavel Nekhaychik (right) won BATE's first penalty of the night
Pavel Nekhaychik (right) won BATE's first penalty of the night ©Getty Images

FC BATE Borisov went top of UEFA Europa League Group E courtesy of a comprehensive 4-1 victory against AZ Alkmaar in Minsk.

Vitali Rodionov put BATE in front after five minutes and though Artyom Kontsevoi missed a penalty, the home side doubled their lead when he did score early in the second half. Late goals from Renan Bressan, another penalty, and Edgar Olekhnovich completed the rout. Though Kolbeinn Sigthórsson pulled one back a minute from time, AZ will point to Jonathas's penalty miss near the hour with the score at 2-0 as the turning point.

Rodionov opened the scoring in the third minute of BATE's 2-2 draw with FC Dynamo Kyiv a fortnight ago and he found the net early on again here, getting the slightest of touches on Bressan's cross to head in. The Belarusian champions should have doubled their advantage 11 minutes later when Sergio Romero brought down Pavel Nekhaychik, but the goalkeeper made amends by saving Kontsevoi's penalty.

BATE were dominating without finding the finishing touch and slowly AZ worked themselves into the game. They might even have gone into the interval level after a flurry of late chances, the best of which saw Pontus Wernbloom strike the bar with a header.

BATE took command four minutes after the restart when Kontsevoi made up for his penalty miss by turning in Nekhaychik's low cross. AZ were offered a lifeline with a penalty of their own when Artyom Radkov pulled Jonathas back on 58 minutes, but Sergei Veremko palmed the 21-year-old's spot kick round the post.

AZ were made to pay with 13 minutes remaining when Héctor Moreno tripped Rodionov and this time Bressan made no mistake from the spot. Olekhnovich completed the rout with a curling shot with three minutes to play, leaving Sigthórsson's late header as mere consolation.