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

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

12:18
Calypso Gymnastics Club, based at Mount Carmel Catholic College for Girls

It’s one of the greatest challenges facing sports enthusiasts around the country – how to persuade young people, particularly girls, to embrace a healthier lifestyle.

Yesterday, 13:28
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger on the touchline. Picture: Steve Paston

In our weekly Arsenal fan column, Alex Bellotti worries about the team’s inability to maintain a title challenge.

Wed, 18:00
John Ryder (grey shorts) defeated Sergey Khomitsky to win the vacant WBA international middleweight title. Pic: Philip Sharkey/TGS Photo

Islington’s John Ryder overcame an early setback to see off the dangerous Sergey Khomitsky and win the vacant WBA international middleweight title.

Wed, 17:56
Regent's FC

Naim Essaghi and Yemi Buraimoh both netted braces as Regent’s FC brushed aside defending champions Cricklewood Wanderers 4-1 to reclaim top spot in the Islington Midweek League Premier Division.

Wed, 16:16
Shaun Dixon in action for Highgate Harriers. Pic: Dieter Perry

Shaun Dixon and Ben Noad helped Highgate Harriers to repeat their 2012 success with victory in the South of England Championships on Saturday.

Wed, 06:40
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger (Martin Rickett/PA Wire)

Arsene Wenger insists Arsenal have enough firepower in their squad after he failed to sign a striker in the transfer window.

Tue, 09:07
Arsenal's Kenny Sansom (left) wins a battle with Tottenham striker Nico Claesen

Kenny Sansom has urged Arsenal to be aggressive “from first whistle to last” when they take on Southampton at Emirates Stadium on Tuesday night.

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Competitions

Sony Smart Ultra HD 55'' LED TV

Enjoy the ultimate entertainment experience in your living room with the Sony Smart Ultra 55’’ LED TV. Be the envy of all your friends with this huge TV- you can change your living room into your own cinema! Get the boys around to watch the football or get the girls around to watch the DVD of 50 Shades.. this is a prize that everyone would enjoy! Stand a chance to upgrade your current entertainment system by wining this fantastic prize.

Surface Pro 4

Technology is ever evolving. We are constantly being shown new technology that is innovative, revolutionary and designed to make life easier for us all. Gone are the days of dial up modems and computers so large you needed half a room to store it. We are in the age of smooth, small and sleek. Companies are all trying their best to create technology that is easy to transport and guaranteed to be user friendly.

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe