Sunday 25 February 2018

Brilliant Bate beat Bayern at own game in major upset

Champions League round-up

BATE Borisov pulled off one of the great European shocks, producing a classic display of counter-attacking football to beat Bayern Munich 3-1 in their Group F encounter in Minsk.

Bayern dominated the match for long periods but were caught on the break on three occasions as goals in either half from Alexander Pavlov and Vitali Rodionov stunned last year's finalists.

Bayern had chances and Franck Ribery twice came close in the second half before giving his side hope with a goal in the first minute of injury-time. But as Bayern pressed for an equaliser they were again caught out in the final minute of regulation play. Dmitri Mozolevski broke down the left and squared to fellow sub Rennan Bressan to give the Belarusians their first home Champions League win in seven attempts.

Lionel Messi set up goals for Alexis Sanchez and Cesc Fabregas in Barcelona's 2-0 Group G victory over Benfica but their victory was overshadowed by a serious injury to Carles Puyol -- the centre-back was stretchered off in the 78th minute and taken to hospital with a dislocated elbow after landing awkwardly at a corner.

It was his first match since recovering from a knee problem.

Sanchez fired Barca ahead on six minutes and Fabregas added a second 10 minutes into the second half. The Catalans had Sergio Busquets dismissed two minutes from time but will be more concerned about captain Puyol.

Juventus might count themselves lucky to have salvaged a 1-1 draw against a spirited Shakhtar Donetsk in Group E.

A thunderbolt from defender Leonardo Bonucci guaranteed a share of the spoils after Alex Teixeira had put the Ukrainians ahead on the counter-attack.

Two points from two draws leaves Juventus in third place above pointless FC Nordsjaelland.

Irish Independent

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