Rakitic Brace Hands Barca Victory

Ivan Rakitic bagged a brace to help FC Barcelona secure a 2-0 win over BATE Borisov at the Borisov Arena on Tuesday evening.

Lionel Messi and Andres Iniesta remain sidelined for the defending Champions, while Munir El Haddadi was drated into the starting line-up ahead of Sandro.

BATE goalkeeper, Sergey Chernik, was called to action after nine minutes, as he did well to tip Luis Suarez’s effort over the crossbar.

Luis Enrique’s men continued to pile on the pressure and were left frustrated by Chernik in the 11th minute, as the BATE shot-stopper produced a fine save to deny Munir from close range.

Barcelona were then dealt a blow in the 18th minute when Sergi Roberto picked up an injury and was replaced by Ivan Rakitic.

BATE had Chernik to thank for keeping the score all square, as he pulled off a couple saves to deny Rakitic and Marc Batra in the closing stages of the first half.

Barcelona eventually broke the deadlock shortly after the halftime break when Neymar picked out Rakitic on the edge of the area and the midfielder rifled home into the top corner.

The home side struggled to create openings for most of the encounter and they were pegged back in their own half, as Enrique’s charges dominated.

The Catalan giants doubled their advantage in the 64th minute as Rakitic latched onto another pass from Neymar at the back post, before calmly clipping the ball over Chernik for his second of the night.

Marc-AndrĂ© ter Stegen was forced into his first save in the 78th minute, as the German shot-stopper was well-positioned to deal with Signevich’s effort from distance.

Signevich went close for BATE two minutes later as his looping effort from 25-yards out sailed inches wide of Ter Stegen’s upright.

Nonetheless, Barcelona managed to see out the remaining stages of the half with relative ease and claimed their second win of the campaign.

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