Emirates Stadium

Next Game

Arsenal v Southampton

Tuesday, 23 September 2014, 19:45

Capital One Cup Third Round

Villa Park

Last Game

A Villa 0 - 3 Arsenal

Saturday, 20 September 2014, 15:00

Barclays Prem

Arsenal dig in to qualify

Arsenal had to survive a nervy final 15 minutes with 10 men to earn a 1-0 aggregate win over Besiktas to reach the Champions League group stages.

Last Updated: 28/08/14 at 10:14 Post Comment

Alexis Sanchez: Celebrates giving Arsenal the lead

Alexis Sanchez: Celebrates giving Arsenal the lead

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Alexis Sanchez clinically put Arsenal in front late in the first half at the Emirates on Wednesday night, latching onto an overhit pass which was intended for Jack Wilshere as the Gunners took the lead at a pivotal time.

Two penalty claims and a great deal of attacking intent meant the visitors were right to feel aggrieved to be behind at the interval, but the home side really should have put the game to bed with a host of second-half chances.

Their task was made all the more difficult however with 15 minutes to go as Mathieu Debuchy was sent off for a second bookable offence.

The visitors threw everything at Arsenal late on, but the Gunners showed their fighting spirit and held on to secure their place in the Champions League group stages for the 17th consecutive season.

The home side started brightly and had two great openings within the opening ten minutes. Wilshere did well to dart through an opening in the Besiktas defence, but the England midfielder dragged his shot wide.

Santi Cazorla was the next guilty party, looping the ball high and wide with an open goal gaping following a misplaced pass from Besiktas goalkeeper Tolga Zengin.

Two big penalty claims were waved away by Portuguese referee Pedro Proenca, with Wilshere especially fortunate to get away with a challenge on Ismail Koybasi.

Then, moments before half-time, came the crucial goal. Debuchy’s cross found its way to Cazorla on the edge of the box, who then played a neat one-two with Wilshere which was slightly overhit, but Alexis came in behind to finish.

After the interval, it was all Arsenal with several opportunities to make the game safe wasted by the hosts.

Sanchez was a metre away from making it 2-0 five minutes after the interval but he was beaten by the speed of Cazorla's pass and he should have done better moments later when set up by Wilshere.

Cazorla saw an effort blocked from close-range, before Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also suffered the same fate from even closer in, with Zengin equal to his prod goalwards.

Moments later, Debuchy received his second yellow card, and the France full-back could face further sanctions for his reaction to the referee’s decision.

As a result, the Arsenal's defence could not rest as successive raids were met with scrambling responses.

The visitors almost broke the Arsenal faithful’s hearts in the dying moments as Demba Ba failed to connect with a pinpoint cross at the backpost, with Wojciech Szczesny scrambling to get across.

Arsenal held on and secure their place in the lucrative group stages, but with hitman Olivier Giroud seemingly out for a substantial period, a lack of firepower may have to be address by Arsene Wenger and the Gunners’ hierarchy.

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Related News

Most Commented

Readers' Comments

H

e deserved respect for forging a successful football career despite being, clearly, made from balsa wood.

Nutboy
Wenger: Diaby deserves respect

L

iverpool should put in a bid for Barkley. As cheeky as it may sound, only he looks capable enough to replace Gerrard.

paulay8
Gerrard's Decay Becoming Sadly Apparent

M

y emotions were not mixed. Super professional that he is. I will never look at you the same way Frank. Love affair over.

gittoplo
Lampard: Mixed emotions

Footer 365

Scottish football: Former Celtic striker John Divers has died aged 74

Former Celtic striker John Divers has died. He was 74.

Mauricio Pochettino wants Tottenham to be positive against Nottingham Forest

Mauricio Pochettino feels Tottenham need to change their mentality after the defeat by West Brom.

Premier League: Liverpool granted permission to expand Anfield

Liverpool's plans to expand Anfield have received a boost after the council grant approval for redevelopment work.

Mail Box

Is Moyes The Big Winner This Season?

Man United and Everton are making David Moyes look good enough for Newcastle. We have lots of mails on Steven Gerrard but mostly Man United and Van Gaal...

Should Gerrard Play Further Forward?

That's one shout in a mailbox that recalls Rafa Benitez saying the Liverpool man would one day end up as a striker. Plus, thoughts on Rooney and 500 words on Ipswich...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property