Search

Sanchez strike sees off Besiktas as Arsenal qualify for Champions League again

21:42 27 August 2014

Arsenal

Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez (right) celebrates with team-mate Santi Cazorla after putting his side ahead against Beskitas

EMPICS Sport

Arsenal 1 Besiktas 0 (aggregate 1-0)

Alexis Sanchez repaid a slice of his £30m transfer fee with his first goal for Arsenal as they booked their place in the Champions League.

The former Barcelona forward netted in first-half injury time to settle a vigorously-contested play-off second leg against Besiktas at Emirates Stadium.

And, although the Gunners had to see out the last 15 minutes with 10 men after Mathieu Debuchy was sent off, they did enough to extend manager Arsene Wenger’s proud record of reaching the group stages for a 17th consecutive season.

With the Turkish side content to sit deep and wait for an opportunity to counter-attack, most of the first-half chances – such as they were – fell to Arsenal.

Referee Pedro Proenca played a good advantage in the ninth minute when Sanchez was brought down and Jack Wilshere scampered through, only to clip his left-foot finish wide of the far post.

Soon afterwards, Besiktas goalkeeper Tolga Zengin misdirected a hurried clearance straight to Santi Cazorla, but the Spaniard’s first-time lob failed to find the target.

There was a rare moment of danger for the Gunners just after the half-hour when Mustafa Pektemek turned Laurent Koscielny on the edge of the box, but Debuchy’s tackle halted him in his tracks.

Sanchez – who had earlier steered a tame free-kick into Zengin’s hands – should have done better when Wilshere found him with a measured pass, but a poor first touch ruined his chances of getting in a clean shot.

However, the Chilean made no mistake in the dying seconds of the first half when Wilshere and Mesut Ozil combined to send him through and he stabbed a low finish beyond the keeper.

Arsenal built on that momentum at the start of the second half, with Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain at the hub of moves from which Cazorla and then Sanchez went close to extending the lead.

Debuchy almost opened his account for the Gunners on the hour mark, arriving at the far post to meet Cazorla’s free-kick with a header that flew just wide.

But the evening turned sour for the French full-back with 15 minutes left as he was adjudged to have pulled down Pektemek and shown his second yellow card.

Seconds earlier, the home side had squandered two good opportunities to seal victory, with Cazorla’s shot blocked by Pedro Franco and Oxlade-Chamberlain denied at close range by Zengin.

The Gunners sacrificed Ozil to bring on Calum Chambers – who, rather oddly was booked for entering the fray without the referee’s approval – and the 10 men settled down to see out the tie.

But, although Demba Ba glanced a header wide in the closing stages, the visitors were unable to manufacture the goal that would have put them into Thursday’s draw for the group stages at Arsenal’s expense.

Arsenal: Szczesny; Debuchy, Mertesacker, Koscielny, Monreal; Flamini; Oxlade-Chamberlain, Wilshere, Cazorla, Ozil (Chambers 76); Sanchez.

Related articles

0 comments

Comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Islington Gazette visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Islington Gazette staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Islington Gazette account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Sport Stories

Yesterday, 12:01
Arsenal Invincibles banner in the Emirates Stadium

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Layth Yousif looks back at the end of the Invincibles and Arsenal’s new artistic movement.

Yesterday, 11:50
Islington BC pair Scott Smart (left) and Sherif Musah

Islington BC duo Sherif Musah and Scott Smart are just one step away from becoming national champions after their impressive victories last weekend.

Yesterday, 08:30
The jubilant Highgate Harriers squad

Highgate Harriers swept the board with a devastating display at the North of Thames cross-country championships in Kingsbury on Saturday.

Wed, 15:54
Foxham Park FC

Player-manager Joe Gaminara scored twice as Foxham Park stormed into the next round of the Islington Gazette Cup with a 6-1 victory over MQ United.

Most read sport

“Space is hard and today was a tough day.”

One pilot is dead and another seriously injured after the craft exploded over the Mojave desert.

One pilot has died and another is seriously injured after a rocket belonging to billionaire Sir Richard Branson’s space tourism venture crashed during a test flight. Virgin Galactic’s SpaceShipTwo rocket came down in the Mojave Desert in California. An eyewitness reported that the craft exploded in flight after ignition. A Virgin Galactic spokesman said the […]

Digital Edition

Image
Read the $m.global.archantvariables.NewspaperTitle e-edition today E-edition