Roma stunned in 3-2 defeat to BATE in Champions League
BORISOV, Belarus—Two goals from fullback Filip Mladenovic powered Belarusian underdog BATE Borisov to a surprise 3-2 win over Roma in the Champions League on Tuesday.
BATE was three goals up after 30 minutes, helped by a dose of good fortune in the Group E match.
Captain Igor Stasevich headed in the eighth-minute opener after the ball took some helpful deflections and bounces in front of goal, while Mladenovic’s first goal four minutes later was a speculative long-range effort which goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny seemed to lose sight of.
Mladenovic’s second goal needed no luck as the Serbian blasted the ball in off the underside of the crossbar on 30 minutes.
Roma mounted a comeback in the second half to close the gap but was denied a late equalizer when Alessandro Florenzi’s powerful shot bounced back off the bar.
Gervinho scored Roma’s first goal with a calm finish off a well-worked passing move through the heart of BATE’s defense on 66 minutes. Substitute fullback Vasilis Torosidis scored the second from close range 16 minutes later, knocking the ball in off a cross from Lucas Digne.
The win puts BATE third in the Group E table, level on three points with Bayer Leverkusen, which lost 2-1 to Barcelona in the other match of the night. Roma is last on one point.
BATE’s win adds Roma to the list of major European clubs to have suffered surprise defeats in Belarus in the Champions League, with Bayern Munich and Athletic Bilbao among BATE’s previous conquests. However, a win against Roma had been considered highly unlikely for a BATE team which was on the receiving end of 5-0, 6-0 and 7-0 defeats in last season’s group stage.
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