Arsenal went in to the first leg of the Champions League play-off against the Turkish side Besiktas knowing that they would be in for a tough and vitally important game. With Slaven Bilic leading the Turks to an excellent victory over the Dutch club Feyenoord in the last round and with the Gunners squad missing a few key players, we could not afford to switch off.
And that was evident from the very start, literally, with Demba Ba hitting the cross bar from the kick-off. The former Newcastle and Chelsea striker was definitely up for it, although young Calum Chambers handled him well for most of the first half, right until a slip allowed Ba a great chance which he screwed wide just before the break.
They were lively and put Arsenal under real pressure, but we carried our own threat, with Wilshere and Sanchez looking especially lively, while Ramsey produced a fantastic pass for Giroud. Our big front man was still looking rusty after the summer though and it was all square at half time.
And it did not get any easier, with a bruising second half that Arsenal will be glad to get out of. We could easily have lost the game, although Oxlade-Chamberlain nearly won it with a great bit of trickery and fierce shot, which the Besiktas keeper brilliantly tipped onto the post.
We just have to win at the Emirates, but losing Aaron Ramsey to two yellow cards has made that a lot harder. Still, you would expect us to be much better next Wednesday and we have got to be favourites. It could have been so much worse, gooners.