BATE Borisov pulled off a huge Champions League shock, producing a classic display of counter attacking to beat Bayern Munich 3-1 in their Group F encounter in Minsk.
Bayern dominated the match for long periods but were caught on the break on three separate occasions as goals in either half from Alexander Pavlov and Vitali Rodionov stunned last year’s finalists. Bayern were not without their chances and Franck Ribery twice came close in the second half before giving his side hope with a goal in the first minute of injury time.
But as Bayern pressed for an equaliser they were again caught out in the final minute of regulation play. Dmitri Mozolevski broke down the left and squared to fellow sub Rennan Bressan to give the Belarusians their first home Champions League win in seven attempts.
Playing at Dynamo Minsk's stadium - their own in Borisov holding less than 6,000 - BATE started well and did not look like a side with such a poor home record in Europe, perhaps buoyed by their win in the previous round away to Lille.
Denis Polyakov provided most of the early threat down the right flank and Manuel Neuer had to be at his best to beat away Rodionov’s shot when Polyakov’s low cross found the striker.
It took time for Bayern to settle but once they did, their attacking 4-2-3-1 formation with Thomas Müller, Toni Kroos and Ribery sitting behind Mario Mandzukic began to dominate possession. A shot from Mandzukic flashed wide of Andrey Gorbnunov’s post before Kroos was guilty of one of the misses of the season.
Having dispossessed a slumbering Dmitri Likhtarovich, he rounded the keeper and had only to put the ball into an empty net. But with the goalmouth yawning, his side foot came back off the near post, bringing back memories of similar misses from Ronnie Rosenthal and Fernando Torres.
Kroos had only 10 minutes to dwell on the miss before BATE took a shock lead. Edgar Olekhnovich found space down the right and his cut back was mis-hit by Aleksandr Volodkov straight into the path of Pavlov, who rifled his shot past Neuer.
Stunned into a response, Bayern upped the ante again. Ribery’s cross found the head of Müller but his powerful header was well tipped over the bar. The winger then missed a good chance of his own, fluffing his shot from Mandzukic's neat step over.
A busy Gorbnunov then saved from the head of Mandzukic and Müller had two close range efforts blocked as the ball pinged around the BATE box before it was scrambled clear.
Bayern started the second half as they ended the first, enjoying much of the ball. But it was again BATE who carved out the first clear cut chances. Neuer again needed to be at his best to deny Olekhnovich from Rodianov’s pass to parry behind for a corner. And moments later Rodianov blasted over when put through by Aliaksandr Hleb with only the keeper to beat. Hleb was again the architect as the home side enjoyed an excellent 10-minute spell, finding Pavlov to his right although his finish was lacking this time.
BATE did not have to wait long until their next chance and they doubled their lead with little over ten minutes remaining. The excellent Hleb found Edgar Olekhnovich who exchanged passes on the edge of the box with Rodionov before the striker found the roof of the net.
Still Bayern came forward and Ribery looked the most likely to break through. Gorbnunov denied the winger with a good low save before another shot cannoned back off the woodwork. Ribery, however, was not to be denied and gave Bayern late hope by slotting home Xherdan Shaqiri’s neat through ball.
But their haste for a late equaliser cost them dear and Mozolevski broke down the flank to set up Bressan for a dramatic winner in the final play of the game.
The result puts BATE top of the group with two wins from their opening two matches with Bayern still hanging onto second place, joint with Valencia who beat Lille. BATE next face Valencia at home on October 2 and Bayern travel to face Lille.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Vitali Rodionov (BATE): A constant threat as the lone BATE striker and was at the heart of many of their best attacking moves. Doubled his side’s lead with an excellent finish before being applauded off with minutes remaining.
Bayern Munich: Neuer 6, Lahm 7, Boateng 6, Dante 5, Badstuber 6, Martinez 6, Gustavo 6, Müller 6, Kroos 6, Ribéry 7, Mandžukić 5. SUBS: Shaqiri 6, Schweinsteiger 6, Pizzaro 6.
BATE Borisov: Gorbnunov 7, Polyakov 7, Filipenko 7, Simic 6, Bordachev 6, Olekhnovich 7, Likhtarovich 6, Pavlov 7, Volodko 6, Hleb 7, Rodionov 8. SUBS: Bressan 6, Sivakov 6, Mozalevski 6.
- Bayern Munich
- Vitali Rodionov
- BATE Borisov
- Franck Ribery