First Europa League results: Arsenal lose at Bate, Sevilla beat Lazio etc.
Arsenal suffered a 1-0 defeat at BATE Borisov on a night forward Alexandre Lacazette will want to forget after being sent off late on, while Inter Milan, Sevilla and Benfica won away in the first legs of the Europa League last 32 on Thursday.
Arsenal had scored 10 goals in two matches against BATE Borisov in the same competition in 2017 but never looked like being as prolific in the freezing temperatures of Belarus.
BATE took the lead when Stanislav Dragun nodded a free kick past Arsenal goalkeeper Peter Cech seconds before halftime after Lacazette put a header wide midway through the first half.
The Frenchman thought he had made up for his miss 10 minutes after the break but his effort was ruled out for offside.
To compound his misery Lacazette was shown a red card five minutes from time for felling Aleksandar Filipovic with an elbow after the defender held him back and was also booked.
Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez netted a 39th minute penalty to secure a 1-0 win at Rapid Vienna, while Sevilla beat Lazio by the same scoreline in Rome thanks to Wissam Ben Yedder’s close-range strike in the 22nd.
In the only tie featuring two teams who dropped down from the Champions League, visitors Benfica beat Galatasaray 2-1 after taking the lead in the 27th minute when Salvio converted a penalty given for handball.
Christian Luyindama equalised for the home side nine minutes into the second period but Benfica’s top scorer Haris Seferovic clinched the win with a fine solo goal 10 minutes later.
Only five of the 16 teams in action managed to score more than one goal with six of the night’s 16 coming in Stade Rennais’ thrilling 3-3 draw with Real Betis.
The French club were making their first knockout round appearance in Europe but they were not overawed by a team that came through the group stages unbeaten.
Dynamo Kiev scored in the last minute to salvage a 2-2 draw at Olympiakos Piraeus, Russian side Krasnodar drew 0-0 at home to Bayer Leverkusen, Slavia Prague versus Genk also finished goalless. On Tuesday Fenerbahce beat Zenit 1-0.
Eight more ties take place later on Thursday.
REUTERS/Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Ken Ferris