Category Archives: Champions League News

Arsenal luck of the draw almost as bad as ever in UCL

It was a great achievement, if a very nerve wracking one, for Arsenal to qualify for the Champions League group stages for the 17th year in a row this week. But Arsene Wenger and the players will be determined to go further in the competition this season, having gone out in the first knockout round in recent years.

But to do this we were hoping for a bit more luck in the draw to give us a better chance of winning our group and avoiding the better teams. So having been put in group D, the second pot was important and we got the German giants Borussia Dortmund, just like last season. That was just about as bad a start as possible.

Arsenal v Besiktas review – Alexis puts 10 man Gunners through – JUST

With Arsenal having to do without some big players like Aaron Ramsey, OLivier Giroud, Theo Walcott, Kieran Gibbs and Mikel Arteta, thisd delicately poised second leg Champions League play-off was always likely to be a tricky encounter for us.

And so it proved in the first half, with Slaven Bilic’s Besiktas team being well organised defensively and causing the Gunners some problems at the other end. We were nervous as well and survived a couple of possible penalty calls before Alexis Sanchez put us ahead on the stroke of halftime with his first goal for his new club.

Official teams and preview of Arsenal v Besiktas

This is the biggest game of the season so far for Arsenal, with the winner taking a place at the top table of European club football and the loser getting their midweeks off for the next few months. A 0-0 draw with Besiktas in Turkey leaves the Gunners slight favourites with tonight’s match at the Emirates, but the away goal situation does leave us in danger.

First choice central defenders the key for Arsenal v Besiktas

He may not have quite been at his best after only returning to Arsenal training around a week ago, but Per Mertesacker’s 90 minutes against Everton at Goodison Park could prove to be very important for the Gunners in the season ahead.

Because it means that Arsene Wenger should have no worries about starting the Champions League game on Wednesday with the German giant alongside his main defensive partner Laurent Koscielny. The France international may have picked up a little knock last week, which was why Wenger left him out on Saturday, but he was on the bench and so should be fine to face the Turkish team Besiktas.

Why Arsenal are NOT worried about Ramsey and Giroud absence

It is all about getting into the Champions League for Arsenal now, although hopefully there will be some serious work being done on the transfer front behind the scenes as well. But for the players and fans, it is absolutely vital for the Gunners to beat Besiktas on Wednesday and book our regular place among the elite of Europe.

Those plans have been hampered somewhat by the re3d card shown to Aaron Ramsey and the ankle knock picked up by Olivier Giroud, but Arsenal do not seem to be too worried about this and they have good reason, as Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain explained to Sky Sports this week.

Debuchy warns rivals that Arsenal are on brink of brilliance!

Without some of our best players and with a fair few of the others looking a couple of weeks off being fully match sharp, Arsenal have had a pretty decent start to the season, and according to one of the new boys, Mathieu Debuchy, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

The France international right back, signed from Newcastle United this summer, has been talking about his new squad, as reported by the Daily Mail, and the defender who has just turned 29 is very impressed with his new team mates. And with the return of Lukas Podolski, Per Mertesacker and Mesut Ozil imminent, Debuchy reckons that the Gunners are on the verge of going up a gear or two very soon.

Who should replace Ramsey for Arsenal v Besiktas?

Because of the importance of the Champions League to Arsenal, Wenger and the players, the second leg of the play-offs against Besiktas on Wednesday is probably more important than the Premier League away trip to face Everton on Saturday.

However, the Gunners have a big problem after our star player was rather harshly sent off in the first leg. The Welshman would have been a nailed on bet to start, but who can replace him? If he was fit, I would suggest that the job should go to Abou Diaby, but he seems to have disappeared off the face of the planet.

Arsenal player ratings for Besiktas draw – Chambers MOTM

Besiktas 0 – 0 Arsenal – Player Ratings by KJ

Szczesny – 7
Only had to make a few select saves but made them as required and wasn’t at fault for any chances. A solid performance.

Debuchy – 6
He was again a bit iffy for me. Easily caught out of position when high up and doesn’t seem to cope well one on one.

Chambers – 8 (MOTM)
He was great again today. He did make a slip up in the first half but was solid throughout and was the only calming influence in a hectic performance.

Besiktas v Arsenal review – Ramsey red leaves Gunners glad of a draw!

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.

`Desperate` Arsenal to go on the attack at Besiktas?

Although the bread and butter stuff that is the Premier League is always the priority, for Arsenal and all the other top flight English clubs, Arsene Wenger has made no secret of how important the Champions League is to the club. So the two games against Besiktas, tonight and next Wednesday, are huge for the Gunners, but will that affect our approach, and will that have a knock-on affect in the coming weeks?

How badly will Arsenal miss injured Sanogo and Gibbs?

Were any of us really surprised to hear that Arsenal have already got a couple of injury problems to cope with? After just one properly competitive game of the new season, the Gunners must travel to the intimidating atmosphere of Istanbul to face Besiktas without two of the starters from Saturday’s narrow win over Crystal Palace.

With Arsene Wenger making no secret of just how important it is for us to get into the group stages of the Champions League, the Frenchman must be a little concerned about how much we will miss the young French striker Yaya Sanogo and our first choice left back Kieran Gibbs, with the Englishman expected to miss around three weeks due to the hamstring problem that saw him replaced at the weekend.

Demba Ba believes Besiktas can topple Arsenal

Last summer the ex-Chelsea striker Demba Ba was on the verge of joining Arsenal on loan before Jose Mourinho put a block on the deal, but now he has moved to the Turkish side Besiktas who just happen to be playing the Gunners for the first time ever in Europe.