ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger remains confident his men can finish the job and qualify for the Champions League after battling to a goalless draw against Besiktas in Istanbul, where midfielder Aaron Ramsey was sent off.
The Gunners were stretched by Slaven Bilic’s well-drilled outfit in the first leg of their play-off at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium, where the hosts almost took the lead right from kick-off through a long-range effort by former Chelsea striker Demba Ba which hit the crossbar.
However, crucially Arsenal held out and but for some poor finishing by Olivier Giroud could have netted a crucial away goal themselves, with substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seeing his shot touched onto the post in the closing stages.
Arsenal, though, will welcome back German World Cup winning trio Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski ahead of this week’s second leg at the Emirates Stadium, when they will be out to secure a 17th successive campaign in the lucrative group stages of Europe’s elite club competition.
“We always want to win, but Besiktas could have won the game, and we could have won the game as well. Maybe a draw is a fair result because both teams had chances to win,” said Wenger, who confirmed he reported to UEFA than an object had been thrown at him as he left the pitch at full-time.