Europa League Review: Dragun Slay Tepid Gunners

Alexandre Lacazette was sent off as a strong Arsenal side slumped to a surprise defeat at the hands of BATE Borisov to leave their Europa League tie finely poised heading into the second leg.

Unai Emery’s side produced a performance that showed reasons they have fallen from grace from the Elite of European football and despite opting for a full strength starting xi, The Gunners never got going at the Borisov Arena and created very little in the way of clear-cut chances, with Stanislav Dragun’s header on the stroke of half-time earning a 1-0 win for the Belarusian League champions.Arsenal will have to do it without Lacazette, the striker dismissed by referee Srdjan Jovanovic for a petulant swing of the arm which summed up the frustrations for the visitors.

Elsewhere in Sweden, Chelsea claimed a 2-1 victory at Malmo in the Europa League last-32 first leg on Thursday.

Chelsea desperately needed a response after back-to-back humiliating away losses, with last Sunday’s 6-0 thrashing by Manchester City following a 4-0 reverse at Bournemouth.Ross Barkley took advantage of a defensive lapse by the home team to put Chelsea ahead on the half-hour mark, with Olivier Giroud adding a 58th-minute second before Malmo’s late goal gave them a glimmer of hope ahead of next week’s return match at Stamford Bridge.

Martinez penalty seal narrow away win for Inter Milan

Despite the ongoing melee with former captain, Mauro ICardi, Inter Milan didn’t let that stop them from taking their first step in the UEFA Europa League as they took a priceless 1-0 away win at Rapid Wein, Thanks to a penalty in the 39th minute from Lautaro Martinez.

Round of 32 results (early games), Thursday February 14

BATE Borisov 1 – 0 Arsenal

FK Krasnodar 0 – 0 Bayer 04 Leverkusen

Galatasaray 1 – 2 Benfica

Lazio 0 – 1 Sevilla

Olympiakos 2 – 2 Dynamo Kyiv

Rennes 3 – 3 Real Betis

SK Rapid Wien 0 – 1 Internazionale

Slavia Prague 0 – 0 KRC Genk