Arsene Wenger believes his side deserved to escape Istanbul with a 0-0 draw following a tough game with Besiktas that the Gunners had to see out with only ten men.
Faced with physical opponents and an awful pitch Arsenal never looked at their fluid best and when Aaron Ramsey was dismissed for two second half yellow cards with ten minutes remaining their unbeaten record in Champions League qualifiers looked under threat.
“It was a difficult match played at a high pace,” Wenger said after the game.
“Besiktas played with 100 per cent pace and did fought for every single ball. We needed a great level of concentration. We are still a bit short physically with some situations, but overall it was a game played for 90 minutes at great pace.
“We always want to win but look, 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 the game.
“We know Besiktas are a good team. We know the game will be certainly tight again, but we play at home. The task is clear for us, we want to win the game.”
Ramsey’s first red card for the Gunners means he’s set to miss the return leg next Wednesday although there are suggestions the club could appeal with Wenger angry at the decision.
“I think neither the first or the second yellow card was deserved. When you see some of the fouls made tonight and we go home with Ramsey red carded, it’s a bit unbelievable.”
Wenger’s annoyance wasn’t restricted to the action on the pitch as he confirmed he’d had to dodge missiles being thrown at him from the terraces.
“As I left the pitch a bottle or something was thrown at me. I reported the incident to UEFA.”