Arsenal’s fighting spirit wins through!

Arsenal vs Besiktas: Arsenal exuded character and hunger, again! by SE

Arsenal took on Besiktas in the 2nd leg of their Champions League playoff tie against Besiktas last night, needing an outright win to progress through to the group stages of the competition for the 17th year running.

Wenger’s men had a depleted squad to choose from, after injuries to Giroud, Arteta and Gibbs handicapped the manager from choosing his first choice XI. More importantly, Ramsey’s suspension from the first leg of the tie meant that Cazorla filled in for the Welshman, alongside Wilshere, in the middle of the park. However, it was invigorating to see Arsenal reign supreme, at the end of two legs, and progress to the group stages of Champions League for the 17th year running.

Last week, against Everton, when Arsenal were up against it big time, they managed to rescue themselves by scoring two equalizing goals, thereby rescuing a crucial away point in the Premier League.

Last night, again, Arsenal didn’t enjoy comprehensive home advantage, owing to the away-goal rule, which would have seen a score draw work in favor of the Turkish outfit. But the way the Arsenal players enjoyed the moment and took it upon themselves, to overcome what has been a difficult period for them – due to injuries and the pile of fixtures – was possibly the biggest positive to come out of last night’s game.

Arsenal were aided by Besiktas’s lack of quality, in the final third of the pitch, but take no credit away from the Arsenal backline, which ensured that the Turkish outfit had no clear chances over the entirety of 90 minutes. Yes, there was a rather terrifying moment for Arsenal, right towards the end of 90 minutes, when Tore swung in a cross from the Right-Wing, trying to pick out Demba Ba, who failed to make contact with a tantalizingly floated ball into the 6-yard box.

Defensively, it was heartening to see the forwards and midfielders chock-a-block with burning energy to drop back, defend, and help out their defenders, which was crucial to Arsenal progressing through to the group stages of the tournament.

The Gunners weren’t really at their best last night, and it was understandable that the pressure of progressing through to the group stages had its effect on Wenger’s men. But, even in those most difficult of circumstances, Arsenal managing to hold out and get the job done is a testament to their character and hunger for the second time in 5 days – something that will keep them in good stead, over the course of the campaign

Tags Besiktas Demba Ba

89 Comments

  1. Mick The Gooner says:

    Fighting spirit got us through the FA Cup Semifinal and Final. Fighting spirit got us through Crystal Palace, Fighting spirit brought us back against Everton. Fighting spirit got us through Besiktas.

    Who says we can’t grind out a result?

    1. vince says:

      We have a lot of new players. Of course it will take some time to gel! but if Alexis mentality of fighting for every ball can continue through to all players, great things will happen.

      Note: I am sick of people claiming AFC doesn’t have character/fighting spirit. We came back in the FA final, first two games of the EPL and this result was a test of our character. Wenger said it: we have togetherness and this got us through, even though we haven’t gelled.
      COYG

      1. Dee@ease says:

        Until we show that resolve against big teams like Man City,Bayern,Chelsea,Barcelona etc there will be doubters,it’s all good and well beating Besiktas in a qualifier at The Emirates how about going to The Nou Camp and beating Barcelona there!

    2. Hald says:

      There is now a new resolve within Players which can make us win many matches and avoid big defeats.

    3. seancali says:

      If you guys check the stats last night, Flamini had the most distance covered. He ran his ass off. He did a hell of a job as our holding mid. I was impressed. good job flamini. never thought he could put in a good performance like the one last night.

    4. eNAE.berg says:

      Wow am amazed i posted a comment 4 hrs or so ago and its still awaiting moderation..
      Is this place a political site ?
      Which group should I join to be given permission to comment freely,fairly and quickly ?

    5. arsenallove says:

      Plus I think the portugese ref was hired by mourinho.. So many cards

    6. no sanogo no party says:

      Group D: Arsenal, Dortmund, Galatasaray, Anderletch. UEFA really hate arsenal. But don’t worry gunners, we will get easy group in the future when Wenger becomes the UEFA president.

  2. arsenal19 says:

    I have never seen an arsenal team iffy like that before. Man do I love Sanchez I knew he was a great talent but his work ethic blew me away how are people already calling him a bust he’s been our best player so far this season.

  3. muffdiver says:

    fighting spirit against everton yes, besiktas yes

    against bayern real – hmmm

    come on wenger fix the leaky pipes…

    1. Dee@ease says:

      You’re speaking 100% truth Besiktas are no Bayern Munich with Ribery and Robben or Real Madrid with Ronaldo and Bale I don’t know why you’ve gotten so many thumbs down

  4. Horliquegold says:

    Sanchez work rate is excellent.
    Thank God we won cos talksport and dailymail had already prepared an article “why wenger should be sack” and why arsenal is a failed team. Now they busy hyping mrs van gaal and the boys…

    1. mohawk says:

      1. You are right about Alexis. I am still not convinced that Alexis in the striker role is the best move, but as a pure player, his performance vs. Besiktas was fabulous – he gave everything in that game – he needs to play even if he is GK.

      2. Wenger made year 17 for CL group stage, but if only making the CL group stage 16 years in a row is cause for firing the manager, no manager would have a job anywhere in football anywhere in the world.

  5. rpk says:

    1. Alexis will be the most fouled player in the league.
    2. Alexis will complete most dribbles than anyone in the league
    My predictions..

    1. Young Gun_AFC says:

      Number 1 is reserved for wilshire as always.

      1. rpk says:

        Our bet is on..

  6. Young Gun_AFC says:

    Sanchez has brought that barcelona and Chile mentality. (Chase after the ball until you win it back). That is something we have lacked. We just let opposition have time on the ball. Glad to see someone put in a massive shift like ramsey does.

    Now all we need is a CDM and CB. doubt wenger will get a striker.

  7. rpk says:

    We are in CL for 16 years just behind Barca, Madrid, Munchen and Porto(surprised to see this)

    1. Budd says:

      Barca, Munchen and Porto are not consecutive seasons. Most consecutive appearances in UCL group stages is Manure with 18. Madrid will follow now with 18 as well while we are making 17 putting us in the third place for most consecutive appearances in UCL groups

    2. no sanogo no party says:

      no. we’re 2nd behind madrid, 17 times!

  8. JStarrr says:

    There is no doubting our fight in that game, and we showed that we have a lot of heart.

    But shouldn’t we be grinding teams that are at a higher level?

    We should have blown these guys out of the water both legs, are we not Arsenal?

    We fought, but a couple chances towards the end (ba) and it would have been a different article today…

    Why are we relying on Lady Luck in crucial matches. Come on wenger. Evolve.

  9. Twig says:

    Higua – in, Higua – out. In, out, in out. Shake it all about. You say you don’t need a striker but you turn around. That’s what it’s all about.

  10. leo says:

    Total Cost To Assemble Squads:
    Man Utd £401.2m;
    Man City £344.15m;
    Chelsea £341.8m;
    Liverpool £245.8m;
    Arsenal £209.5m.

    1. Gooner Cape Town says:

      That’s just great BUT what about our daily transfers stories @leo?????

      1. leo says:

        heard nothing 2day besides our interest in greek cb sokratis of bvb

        1. Gooner Cape Town says:

          Thanx mate…..read Carvalho’s agent in Manchester, damn that could be bad or have we turned more attention to Rabiot? Typical AW signing, cheap with potential. Can’t see Carvalho leaving Lisbon with CL footie to go to MU for no CL!!!! Surely we must have a nose ahead?

          1. RSH says:

            wasnt it rumored, Carvalho wouldnt join us till we qualified for UCL? So i cant see him going to Utd, who were never in the competition in the first place. Really hope United arent in for him. Get to it Wenger, we need him!

            1. NY_Gunner says:

              @RSH
              Him going to MU might be all about the dosh…

  11. rpk says:

    CL draw starts in 30 mins… excited

    1. Twig says:

      I’m not.

  12. leo says:

    ACC 2 beskitas mgr billic :-

    “They are missing the strikers although Sanchez was good tonight. But to win it with Bayern Munich and Real Madrid to compete against? Football is strange but it would be difficult.”
    agree with his view hope wenger makes some new signings

  13. Twig says:

    I hope we get the toughest group a seeded team could possibly get. Just so we can get Cavani, Carvalho and Alderweireld before transfer deadline. COYG!!!

    1. muffdiver says:

      last year we had group of death wenger bought….kallstrom

      1. Twig says:

        Kallstrom was bought in January 2014. The UCL draws for last season held in August 2013. You need to be up to date Muffy 😉

      2. mike1977 says:

        If we get an easy group does that mean he’ll sign Cavani?

      3. mike1977 says:

        If we get an easy group does that mean he’ll sign Cavani?

    2. ahmad says:

      need a link to watch the draw

  14. leo says:

    ACC 2 beskitas mgr billic

    “They are missing the strikers although Sanchez was good tonight. But to win it with Bayern and Real Madrid to compete against? Football is strange but it would be difficult.”
    he is 100% right hope wenger make some singings before transfer window closes

  15. Bigvalbowski says:

    Is Le Prof really going to let the”Dutch Technician” steal WC from right under his rather large nose? I will passionately support my beloved Gunners through thick and thin this year but does AW genuinely think the current squad can be title contenders both domestically and in Europe?

  16. Mehrzad says:

    the rumors that arsenal made a bid for Sokratis Papastathopoulos from Dortmund is quite interesting. He can play diff positions in defense and midfield. exactly what arsenal need. Sokratis + a striker will do

  17. Cartman says:

    I hope we don’t have to rely on fighting spirit in every game this season. I don’t think my heart can handle it. The Everton and Besiktas matches really gave my heart a workout

  18. Gooner Cape Town says:

    I am just like most who post on here, impatient, frustrated at times and want our Arsenal to win everything. BUT, we mustn’t forget that we are in another era now, no stadium debt, fantastic facilities, awesome team spirit, and some really top quality players coming through at Emirates. Wenger is still rebuilding this squad after getting rid of players who didn’t fit in and we all know who they were.
    Let’s see after window closes…….

  19. mike1977 says:

    I hope Sanchez’s work rate rubs off on all our players. Tireless, relentless.

  20. Princegooner says:

    Just heard reports coming from madrid that arbeloa is coming to arsenal.
    What do you guys think of him.

  21. Matt says:

    Do any of you reckon we will actually sign another marquee signing this window? I bloody hope so but doubt it because I simply do not ever trust Wenger to deliver in the transfer window. We bloody need another marquee signing because two right backs and a backup keeper and one offensive player as good as he is, is not enough I’m afraid, our net spend is only about 30mil…

  22. ahmad says:

    need a link to watch the draw

  23. RSH says:

    OMMMGGG can we stop getting dortmund!!!

    1. mike1977 says:

      Zigic will fcuk em up!!

  24. ahmad says:

    a fuc**ing linkkkkkkkkkkkkkkkk

  25. ams says:

    Arsenal vs dortmund..!!!
    Againn..!!

  26. juhislihis says:

    Galatasaray and Dortmund.. Jesus come on make it 3 and give us Roma too while at it FFS

    1. Budd says:

      We will get Monaco 🙂

      1. Budd says:

        But by the looks of it now you may be right, Roma is a possibility . High one!

  27. Daedric_Lord says:

    ok we need cavani…

  28. mike1977 says:

    Arsenal, Dortmund, Galatasaray, and ………….

  29. kelisjech says:

    Chelsit just got the easiest draw yet again… Ars, Gala, Drtmd, COYG

  30. arsenalman365 says:

    As long as its not roma I am happy

  31. juhislihis says:

    Roma for sure

  32. Tyno says:

    Turkish delight…

  33. juhislihis says:

    Anderlecht huh!

  34. arsenalman365 says:

    Luck 4 once

  35. mike1977 says:

    Anderlecht!! Woohoo.

  36. juhislihis says:

    Chelsea’s group is a laughing stock

  37. mike1977 says:

    Chelsea get an easy draw as usual.

  38. juhislihis says:

    Roma, CSKA, City and Bayern. 😀 Couldn’t be worse…

  39. mike1977 says:

    Not seen Man Utd drawn yet.

    1. mark says:

      Oh dear. 😀

  40. arsenalman365 says:

    Guys Galastaraay are dire this year and finished behind Fenerbache who we smashed 6-0 on aggregate. They are being overestimated. Anderlecht are whipping boys and it’s us vs Dortmund 4 for spot. 6/10 for hardness.

  41. rpk says:

    Group D:
    Arsenal
    BVB
    Gala
    Anderlecht

  42. mike1977 says:

    Man City lmao.

    1. NY_Gunner says:

      @mike1977
      They should have no problem with their squad…

  43. Cartman says:

    Dortmund, Galatasaray and Anderlecht

    At least we didn’t get a tough group like Chelsea

    1. muffdiver says:

      every year chelsea get dogs piss….suspect

  44. Tyno says:

    Who’s the group of DEATH then?

    1. mark says:

      Don’t fancy Nicosia’s chances much…City have a tough group, with their dodgy European form..

      We have a decent-ish chance of getting through the group stages.

  45. Budd says:

    Scouses have easy as well although Basel is a hard nut to crack

  46. Cartman says:

    What about Man Utd?

  47. muffdiver says:

    looks like second in the group then knocked out by barca/bayern like every year

    1. arsenalman365 says:

      To be fair Dortmund were lucky last year to beat us. We beat Dortmund away plus they lost Lewandowski. They signed immoble who is good but not world class. If we stop Reus we stop Dortmund. It aint the hardest.

      1. NY_Gunner says:

        @arsenalman365
        If only it were so simple. Immobile is a lil monster and has an off the charts work rate. And the rest of the teams performance levels are still right up there with the best of em…

  48. CraigZWE says:

    I would take pool and Chelsea group over ours.

    glad we not City haha.

    1. 2 times pl champions in 3 years

      HAHA

  49. CraigZWE says:

    I want pool to Pass first round they will struggle further in league, but at same time I want them to finish last.

    thumbs up pool last
    thumbs down make it to 2nd round

  50. gbengress says:

    Not the best of champions league draw….but it isn’t that bad…
    Dortmund is not the same force as before, Galatasaray?Besiktas is better…Anderlecht? The dark horse of the group (though they shouldn’t be underestimated)…
    I expect a minimum of 14 pts, it should be enough 2 top the group..
    COYG

  51. mike1977 says:

    All the English teams will qualify for the knockout stages. Please, Wenger, sign us a striker and a DM!!

  52. Mark my words we will finish 2nd in the group with this team
    And then get rolled over by either Bayern or Barca

    Same thing every season
    To win the CL you gotta beat the best

    But the only thing we can do is reach the round of 16 and that’s it

  53. ruelando says:

    Yesterday match is over, its time to get down to the business at hand. Sanchez played well but should not be considered a striker when he changed his game by positioning himself between the central defender and wingback of the Besiktas, thats when he started to make progress.

    Our wingbacks getting upfield and crossing seemed pointless(crossing actually getting better), high balls up field seemed pointless and sanchez positioning on the counters was also pointless;
    Sanchez got the benefit of more space because besiktas was pushing forward for an equaliser in the second half, however we will not have the same opportunities n other games, i strongly feel he would have a joy ride on the leftside of our attack, with sanago or a new signing like a welbeck as the focal point.

    Our midfield also needs new parts, could not get close to besiktas midfield and in truth the best midfielder for the night was Ativa Hutchinson he was everywhere and broke up a lot of our attacks before we reached the danger zone (he would have been great at arsenal). we need a blood hound like that, flamini was ok but how many time did you hear is name, i only heard it when he almost gave a goal to BA. We need a NEW DM

    Wenger himself looks like he himself will soon have an heart attack the way arsenal is playing, Cazorla and Sanchez was out of gas and were basically playing on fumes, ( they both did great) BUT fresh legs would have possibly kill the game for us and we were running the risk of them coming up with a groin, ligament, muscle or tendon injury RIDICULOUS

    Mr. wenger with GIROUD present i would say no need for a forward, however he isout and there are a lot of talents out there that would improve arsenal, lets not make the same mistake like january because it would show arsenal are not learning from their MISTAKES

  54. Gooner Cape Town says:

    Mourinho is still a Poes!!

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