Search

Wenger gives his verdict on Besiktas draw as Bilic apologises for touchline antics

07:36 20 August 2014

Arsenal's Arsene Wenger and Besiktas manager Slaven Bilic (AP Photo)

Arsenal's Arsene Wenger and Besiktas manager Slaven Bilic (AP Photo)

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.

Ramsey - who scored a stoppage-time winner against Crystal Palace on the opening day of the new Barclays Premier League season - was dismissed for a second yellow card with 10 minutes left when he was ruled to have pulled back former Arsenal midfielder Oguzhan Ozyakup.

Arsenal, though, will welcome back German World Cup winning trio Mesut Ozil, Per Mertesacker and Lukas Podolski ahead of next 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.

“We know the second leg will be certainly tight again, but we play at home, so the task is clear for us - we want to win.”

Despite leaving Istanbul with a positive result, Wenger was less than impressed by the overall performance of Serbian referee Milorad Mazic, who sent Besiktas boss Bilic to the stands just before full-time.

The Arsenal boss added: “Neither the first nor the second yellow card was deserved for Aaron Ramsey. When you see some of the fouls that have been made tonight and we go home with Ramsey (given) a red card, it is a bit unbelievable.

“In the second half the performance of the referee was very bad.

“Ramsey’s second yellow card, I cannot see where that comes from, it was a huge decision.

“I felt just a lot was wrong in the second half but, overall, it was a difficult game maybe to referee as well because everybody did fight for every ball, so maybe it was not easy for the referee as well.”

Nevertheless, Wenger was happy enough to have seen his side leave undefeated, if counting the loss of captain Mikel Arteta to an ankle injury.

“Besiktas played with 100 per cent pace in the game and did fight for every single ball, and it was quick. We needed a great level of concentration,” he said.

Bilic, meanwhile, hopes he will be able to lead his side at the Emirates Stadium, having apologised for his indiscretion.

The Croatian former West Ham and Everton defender said: “If that was a reason, many coaches would be missing from the dug-out.

“I have apologised. I made a mistake. Maybe I overreacted in that situation when he stopped the game we were in a good position, two against one.”

Bilic believes his men can lift themselves for a big performance next week.

“We are going to London not to go shopping in Harrods, but to try to fulfil some would say our dream, I would say our task, our plan,” he said.

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 Islington Sports News

Arsene Wenger confirmed key defender Shkodran Mustafi will miss Arsenal’s crucial forthcoming fixtures after he picked up a ‘bad’ hamstring strain during the 3-1 win over Stoke City at The Emirates.

A touchy Mark Hughes stormed out of his post-match press conference after he was quizzed on his views about Stoke City fans at The Emirates singing about Aaron Ramsey’s career-threatening injury.

Arsenal went top of the table as they maintained their good form by beating Stoke City 3-1 at The Emirates this afternoon with goals from Theo Walcott, Mesut Ozil and Alex Iwobi, after Charlie Adam had earlier put the Potters 1-0 up with a first half penalty.

Thu, 11:59

Sapo Verde Under-11s conceded just a single goal in eight games as they clinched the Camden & Islington League Development Cup at Market Road.

Thu, 07:20

Athletes frequently relate how finding a different perspective can raise their performance – and Islington BC’s Amy Pu is certainly hoping to be among them.

Thu, 07:03

Ever since actor Ray Winstone began imploring viewers to “get yer mobiles out” in bet365’s TV commercial, which was regularly screened at half-time during live match broadcasts a few years ago, all bookmakers have witnessed an increase in three particular forms of betting.

Wed, 17:00

Former St Pancras ABC star Alan ‘Avalanche’ Higgins wants to become a British champion in 2017 following his Southern Area title success at the weekend.

Wed, 16:00

Waj Abdul Malik grabbed a hat-trick as Eastside Allstars thrashed Alchemists 6-0 to advance to the next round of the Jack Morgan Cup.

Newsletter Sign Up

Most read sport

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Islington Gazette
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now