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Belarusian Premier League
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Belarusian Premier League wrap: BATE Borisov keeps pace (video)

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The goals were flying in around Belarus as the chasers aimed to keep pace with victorious Slutsk.

[ VIDEO: Premier League highlights ] 

The Belarusian Premier League is the only European top-flight which has continued throughout the coronavirus pandemic, as Matchweek Seven saw the league table become even closer and we have the latest video highlights for you.

Fans are still allowed to watch the games at the stadiums in Belarus and matches are broadcast across the world.

BATE Borisov 3-1 Neman Grodno

Longtime BATE star Igor Stasevich scored a goal and set up two more as the host used two goals in the first 17 minutes led the way to all three points.

BATE stays within a win of the leaders, one point back of second-place Torpedo Zhodino.

Belshina 0–3 Dynamo-Brest

An early own goal put the visitors on top, and Denis Laptev picked up a goal and an assist in the second half to move Brest within three points of the top three.

Vitebsk 2-3 Slavia Mozyr

Slavia Mozyr fell behind 2-1 despite a halftime lead, but Maksym Slyusar scored in the 86th and 88th minutes to move clear of the bottom three.

Shakhter Soligorsk 4-0 Isloch

Vitali Lisakovich scored two of the hosts’ quartet of goals in a match that flattered them a bit. The visitors had 55 percent possession and an 11-10 advantage in shots.

Belarusian Premier League roundup: BATE thump FC Minsk (video)

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The Belarusian Premier League – the only active European top-flight league at the moment – continued on Sunday despite the coronavirus pandemic.

FC Minsk 0-3 BATE Borisov

Far from putting forward an ideal start to the season, Belarusian giants BATE Borisov picked up their biggest win of the season thus far, thumping FC Minsk 3-0 in Minsk.

 

By the 34th minute, left back Bojan Nastic’s service inside the box led to goals from Stanislav Dragun and Anton Saroka, respectively. BATE had momentum on powering them forward, and it would last the remainder of the bout.

As a handful of Minsk and BATE players shoved back and forth inside the six-yard box, Pavel Nekhajchik curled a ball into the heart of the goal. Disrupted by the handful of bodies in front of him, Minsk goalkeeper Artem Leonov’s desperate punch missed entirely, resulting in an olympic goal from Nekhajchik.

As a result, both teams stand at six points after four rounds into the Belarusian top-flight campaign.

Elsewhere in Belarusian Premier League 

FK Smolevichi 0-0 Shakhtyor

Dinamo Brest 3-1 Isloch

Belarusian Premier League roundup: BATE Borisov pick up win, end early-season drought

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The Belarusian Premier League – the only active European top-flight league at the moment – continued on Saturday despite the coronavirus pandemic.

FC Rukh 0-1 BATE Borisov

With an early goal from midfielder Stanislav Dragun, BATE Borisov, Belarus’ most successful team (15 league titles) and a regular face in European competition, earned their first win of the season. Kirill Alshevsky, who took over at the helm prior to the season, had started his spell on a two-game losing streak.

BATE, despite not winning the possession battle decisively, generated twice as many shots on target as the visitors, registering a total of 11 shots throughout 90 minutes at Borisov Arena.

A winner of 13 straight Belarusian Premier League titles – spanning from 2006 to 2018 – pressure began looming over BATE after starting the 2020 campaign with back-to-back lackluster results. BATE, who lost to Arsenal in Europa League’s Round of 32 in April 2019, were outscored 5-2 in the first, two games of the league.

Dinamo Minsk, the second most successful Belarusian side, also picked up their first three points on Friday, following a slower-than-usual start to the season. Meanwhile, defending champion Dinamo Brest fell 2-1 to Slavia-Mozyr, dropping to eighth on the table.

Elsewhere in Belarusian Premier League 

Shakhtyor 0-0 Nerman

Dinamo Brest 1-2 Slavia-Mozyr

Arsenal boss Emery defends team selection after BATE Borisov loss

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Arsenal manager Unai Emery has come out to defend his team selection after losing to BATE Borisov 1-0 in Europa League play on Thursday in Belarus.

Emery dropped playmaker Mesut Ozil in his ongoing feud with the German international, saying before the match that Ozil was a healthy scratch. After the loss, Emery was quick to defend his team selection, going so far as to say his team should have won despite the final scoreline.

“Last week we won and we played with the same players,” Emery said after the game. “For me today there was no difference to the performance. We deserved to win but didn’t get the result.”

“They were very organized defensively and they found the moment in the game. It’s not for one player or another. We can win with every player and lose with the same players.”

Arsenal held 77% possession and out-shot BATE 16-6, but each side picked out just three on target. Emery preached patience on multiple levels, saying his players need to control their emotions, and the fans need to understand that there is still a second leg to go.

“It’s the first match,” said Emery of the situation, with the second leg coming from the Emirates next Thursday. “We are going to play another 90 minutes next week and I’m sure it’s going to be different.

“Our big opportunity is next week at home. Today is not the result we wanted. We deserved more but they worked for this. Next week is going to be different with our supporters.”

Emery continued to talk about his players keeping their cool, and said he spoke with Alexandre Lacazette, who was sent off for a late elbow. “I didn’t see the action [Lacazette’s foul] but we need to control the frustration,” Emery said. “It’s bad news, this red card. Next week we won’t play with [Lacazette]. But it gives chances for another player.”

Ozil could be in contention to come back into the team in Lacazette’s absence, or Emery could turn to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as a lone striker up front with a number of changes behind him, potentially including a return for Aaron Ramsey who missed the first leg with a knee problem.

BATE Borisov takes 1st leg lead v. Arsenal

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  • Dragun scores before halftime
  • Gunners have 77 percent possession
  • Both teams but three shots on target
  • Lacazette sent off

BATE Borisov stunned Arsenal with a 1-0 Europa League first leg win at Borisov Arena on Thursday,

A free kick from Igor Stasevich was headed home by Stanislav Dragun in the 45th minute for the lone goal of the game.

The second leg is Thursday at the Emirates Stadium.

[ MORE: Full lineups, stats, box score ]

Alexandre Lacazette had a goal called back for Arsenal, and capped his day with an 85th minute red card.

Lacazette swung his arm backward and caught Aleksandar Filipovic, and will be set for multiple games on the bench.

[ LIVE: Europa League scores  ]