10 men Arsenal managed to dig in and secured a draw with Besiktas as Gunners lost their pristine record in the playoffs and Aaron Ramsey for the return leg. The Welshman was sent off late into the second half for a second bookable (atleast in the eyes of that joker in disguise)offence. The game had an air of unpredictability surrounding it and was evident from the first whistle when Demba Ba tested Szczesny from the mid line. It was an excellent effort from Ba and the Pole was equal to it. Arsenal couldn’t get their game going on and on a pitch that was as terrible as Mourinho’s face it was always going to be an uphill task. The home side pressed Arsenal high up the pitch and although we did well to evade their first press, we hardly tested their goalkeeper. Oliver Giroud had one of those days when he couldn’t pass a ball to a teammate 3 yards away. He looks way off the pace and it showed when he couldn’t get the ball out of his leg. Sanchez was our only threat in the first half and showed glimpses of what he could do. I can’t wait to watch Ozil and Alexis in the same team. Besiktas had a great chance late in first half when Ba was clean through after a mistake from the otherwise impressive Chambers but the ex Chelsea fella fluffed it. We were no better when Giroud sanogoed an even better one.
The second half was as pacy as the first and the home side disrupted any rhythm Arsenal found in their play. The first controversial moment came when Ba made a thunderous challenenge on Arteta. The Arsenal captain turned his ankle and was replaced by Flamini. The players we are losing through injuries and suspensions is just increasing by every match we play. At this rate we may have to play the kids and newborns. Flamini came on, put a foot in and received his 19373363th yellow card. Arsenal struggled to string 5 passes together, Cazorla was shocking yesterday and he has to produce the performance expected of him. In the last 30 mins or so the ref went into flashing cards mode and lost control of the game. Ramsey’s second yellow was as soft as it gets and as a result Arsenal were reduced to 10. Chamberlain almost won us the game but his shot hit the woodwork and the game ended goalless. Disappointed, yes a bit but in hindsight a good result.