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

Yesterday, 19:29

Home ties for North London neighbours

Friday, February 17, 2017

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has added to speculation about his future at the club by saying will be a manager next season – at the Emirates ‘or somewhere else’.

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Sensei Raphael Veras praises work rate of his son after impressing at latest Judo event

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

A visibly shocked Arsene Wenger has called Arsenal’s 5-1 defeat against Bayern Munich tonight a ‘nightmare’ – as his team was unceremoniously dumped out of the Champions League by a powerful display from Carlo Ancelotti’s team at the Allianz Arena tonight.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Bayern Munich provided a masterclass in powerful, winning football as four second half goals blasted Arsenal away after Alexis Sanchez equalised to make it 1-1 at half time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

The general consensus from the 300 loyal Arsenal fans on this morning’s early flight from Luton Airport was that their beloved heroes required bravery to take on the aristocrats of Bayern Munich in the Champions League tonight.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Despite the cold and snow, Islington Primary School’s District football team finished the Lester Finch Trophy campaign off in real style with a 6-2 victory over Barking and Dagenham.

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Islington Boxing Club held a successful open show at Boston Dome in Tufnel Park with all 16 bouts feturing a home boxer.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

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