Arsenal suffered an embarrassing loss against a team that haven’t played a competitive match since mid-December in their first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie.
On a ragged pitch, Unai Emery’s side were unable to break down BATE Borisov, who scored on the stroke of half-time and then sat deep for the remainder of the game.
Stanislav Dragun notched the decisive goal from a set piece, shrugging off a meek challenge from Sead Kolasinac to head over Petr Cech at the near post…
Despite Mesut Ozil finding himself left out of the squad once again, the Gunners still fielded a fairly strong side in Belarus, with Alexandre Lacazette, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Henrikh Mkhitaryan, Lucas Torreira and Denis Suarez all making it onto the pitch at various points.
Indeed, Lacazette thought he’d managed to coax an equaliser early in the second half only to see his effort chalked off.
The French striker then got himself sent off five minutes from time for flailing an elbow into the face of Aleksandar Filipovic.
By the end, with vim and vigour in short supply, Emery’s lacklustre team managed just three shots on target despite amassing almost 80% of the possession.
BATE will now carry a slim advantage into the second leg at the Emirates next week.