Luis Súarez and Neymar Jr continued their impressive form for Barcelona as they were both on target yet again to help the UEFA Champions League holders who lost Ivan Rakitić to injury, moved five points clear in Group E.
Barcelona peppered the BATE goal before penetrating it. Sergei Chernik’s sharp one-on-one save from Neymar, after a flowing four-man move, began the pattern of the Belarusians frustrating Barça. Luis Suárez squeezed an effort past the post, Adriano hit the same upright.
Despite that, possibly the biggest scoring opportunity was nipped off the toes of Munir El Haddadi, an early replacement for Ivan Rakitić after the midfielder dropped to the turf in pain. Dani Alves supplied but the youngster was thwarted in the act of scoring his first goal this season by a super Nemanja Milunović interception.
BATE made Barcelona work. Marc-André ter-Stegen saved smartly from Igor Stasevich’s early free-kick, and at his near post from the same player before half-time.
Then came the opener. A deft one-two wall pass between Munir and Suárez saw the Spaniard hauled back by Filip Mladenović; a penalty. Neymar took one step and comprehensively wrong-footed Chernik for his first spot kick in this competition.
The points were sealed with the game’s crowning moment. Thomas Vermaelen broke up a BATE attack in his own box, fed Sergio Busquets, who was exceptional from start to finish. From there, via Neymar, Suárez had his third goal of the competition this season.
The Uruguayan also hit the post and then added an assist for the third, which Neymar tapped home.