The ex-Arsenal star who has beaten Bayern Munich 3-1 in Europe this season

Hleb

When Belarusian side BATE Borisov beat Bayern Munich 3-1 in the Champions League Group Stage there was a familiar face in their line-up...Alexander Hleb!

Wednesday night is approaching fast and Arsenal have a huge feat on their hands in regards to making it into the final eight of this seasons Champions League.

After a 3-1 defeat in the first leg the club were given some positive news this week when it emerged Franck Ribery had suffered an ankle injury and would miss the game. However the chocolate ankle of Jack Wilshere has come back to haunt them as he faces three weeks on the side-lines meaning he will miss the fixture at the Allianz Arena.

It means Arsenal will be without arguably there best player at the moment against a side widely considered the most in form team in Europe.

However one ex-Arsenal player has played in a game, the result of which, would take the tie into extra-time this season.

Alexander Hleb left Arsenal after an incredible 2007-08 season in order to move to Barcelona; a move that proved disastrous for the Belarusian.

He spent four injury hit years at the Nou Camp which also accommodated loan spells at former club VfB Stuttgart, Birmingham City and VfL Wolfsburg. Six months at Russian outfit Krylia Sovetov Samara followed before he returned to boyhood club BATE Borisov last summer.

The Belarusian champions had a gruelling task getting through the qualifying stage of the Champions League. Starting in the second round they had to see their way past Macedonian outfit Vardar, Hungarian side Debrecen before defeating Israeli champions Ironi Kiryat Shmona in the final play-off round to earn a place among Europe’s elite in the Champions League Group Stage.

However when they got the draw Hleb and co would have been forgiven believing that there time in the Champions League was going to be an arduous one. Spanish giants Valencia, French danger side Lille and German giants Bayern Munich awaited them.

But things started well for BATE as they trounced an out of sorts Lille 3-1 in France on Matchday One but better was still to come.

In their second game BATE defeated Bayern 3-1 via goals from Alexander Pavlov, Vitali Rodionov and Renan Bressan with just a Franck Ribery penalty getting in their way.

Hleb played the full 90 minutes in that fixture and was pivotal to the victory however the game was in Borisov rather than the Allianz Arena.

When Hleb travelled to Munich he was on the end of a 4-1 thrashing; perhaps a more ominous sign for Arsenal fans.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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