Champions League - Qualifying - Play-off - 2nd Leg
Arsenal1Besiktas0

Arsenal 1-0 Besiktas

Alexis Sanchez was a £35m summer signing for Arsenal from Barcelona
  • Sanchez hits vital winner for Gunners
  • Besiktas have two penalty appeals waved away
  • Debuchy sent off with 15 minutes left
  • Champions League draw on Thursday

Alexis Sanchez's first goal for Arsenal since his £35m move from Barcelona claimed the prize of a place in the Champions League group stage for the 17th successive season on a tense night at Emirates Stadium.

The Chilean struck the goal that edged out Besiktas but Arsenal had to survive nervous moments - including playing the last 14 minutes with 10 men after Mathieu Debuchy was sent off - before winning this qualifier.

And for manager Arsene Wenger, Sanchez's strike ensured a rich reward on his expensive summer investment as Arsenal once again go into Thursday's draw for the group phase.

Besiktas were furious when Jack Wilshere's first-half tackle on Ramon Motta in the area went unpunished while Arsenal missed chances of their own to ease the anxiety sweeping around the stadium in the closing stages.

Former Arsenal defender Martin Keown on BBC Radio 5 live
"As an Arsenal fan, my heart was in my mouth a few times. The Jack Wilshere penalty claim was 100% a penalty for Besiktas."They have scrapped through, but they are through, and Arsene Wenger has preserved his wonderful record."

With Aaron Ramsey suspended, Wilshere was at the heart of Arsenal's best work with an energetic display that put recent poor form behind him, while Sanchez demonstrated the work-rate and quality up front that has Wenger believing he will be central to their season.

Arsenal also showed defensive resilience with reduced numbers in the dying moments as Turkish side Besiktas cast caution aside in the search for the goal that would have put them into the lucrative next stage of the Champions League.

It was always going to be tense after a goalless first leg and even though this qualifier was decided on fine margins, Arsenal will ultimately have no complaints because this was all about ensuring they did not slip out at this hurdle.

Wenger must now decide whether losing striker Olivier Giroud - out for the rest of the year after surgery on a broken tibia - will force him into the transfer market before the window closes on Monday.

Alexis Sanchez's last Champions League goal was for Barcelona against Benfica in October 2012

Arsenal have attacking talent but it remains open to debate whether they have the sort of wider firepower that will enable them to mount a serious Premier League title challenge and tackle the best the Champions League has to offer.

Who Arsenal could get in the group stages
Best case: Arsenal, Basel, Sporting, Maribor
Worst case: Arsenal, PSG, Ajax, Roma

A promising early opening, which saw Wilshere slide an angled drive wide when he should have hit the target and Santi Cazorla do the same from keeper Tolga Zengin's wayward clearance, proved something of a false dawn.

Besiktas were determined in defence and carried a threat going forward that led to an air of frustration as their first half progressed.

And the visitors were also nursing a sense of injustice as they felt they were denied two penalties when Debuchy slid in on Mustafa Pektemek and when Wilshere appeared to take down Motta as he slipped making a challenge in the area.

Sanchez's goal means that Arsenal will play in the Champions League for a 17th consecutive season

Besiktas coach Slaven Bilic - forced to watch from the stands after being sent from his technical area in the first leg - certainly felt aggrieved as he jumped out of his seat in protest at referee Pedro Proenca's refusal to rule in favour of his side.

Just as Arsenal looked certain to get to half-time on level terms, Wilshere forced the issue with another run into the area to play in Sanchez for an angled finish.

The pair linked up again early in the second half as Wilshere's vision gave Sanchez another opportunity inside the area but his snapshot was deflected off target.

Former Chelsea striker Demba Ba gave Arsenal a worrying moment with a shot into the side-netting on the turn - but the Gunners had moments of their own to settle it, with Debuchy heading wide and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain seeing a shot blocked by Zengin from only eight yards.

The concerns increased for Arsenal and Wenger when they were reduced to 10 men with 14 minutes left after Debuchy received a second yellow card for tangling with Pektemek. He clearly got the ball but referee Proenca felt he had dragged the player back first.

Besiktas attempted to press home their numerical advantage, Ba almost getting on the end of one cross, but Arsenal held out and the Emirates was able to look forward to more Champions League football.

Jack Wilshere was fortunate not to concede a penalty in the first half
Right-back Mathieu Debuchy will now miss Arsenal's first group game through suspension

Line-ups

Arsenal

  • 1SzczesnyBooked at 86mins
  • 2DebuchyBooked at 75mins
  • 18Monreal
  • 20Flamini
  • 4Mertesacker
  • 6Koscielny
  • 15Oxlade-Chamberlain
  • 10Wilshere
  • 17Sánchez
  • 19Cazorla
  • 11ÖzilSubstituted forChambersat 77'minutesBooked at 76mins

Substitutes

  • 7Rosicky
  • 9Podolski
  • 21Chambers
  • 22Sanogo
  • 26Martinez
  • 28Campbell
  • 34Coquelin

Besiktas

  • 29Zengin
  • 3Köybasi
  • 31de Morais Motta
  • 8KavlakBooked at 23minsSubstituted forUysalat 77'minutesBooked at 85mins
  • 19FrancoBooked at 59mins
  • 22Gülüm
  • 11PektemekSubstituted forTosunat 87'minutes
  • 13HutchinsonBooked at 79mins
  • 9Ba
  • 15OzyakupBooked at 32mins
  • 10SahanSubstituted forTöreat 63'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 1Gonen
  • 2Kurtulus
  • 6Sivok
  • 7Töre
  • 20Uysal
  • 21Frei
  • 23Tosun
Referee:
Pedro Proença

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamBesiktas
Possession
Home46%
Away54%
Shots
Home14
Away7
Shots on Target
Home4
Away0
Corners
Home4
Away0
Fouls
Home14
Away13

Live Text

Match ends, Arsenal 1, Besiktas 0.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Arsenal 1, Besiktas 0.
Foul by Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas).
Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Booking

Gökhan Töre (Besiktas) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Gökhan Töre (Besiktas).
Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Substitution

Substitution, Besiktas. Cenk Tosun replaces Mustafa Pektemek.
Foul by Necip Uysal (Besiktas).
Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Booking

Wojciech Szczesny (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

Booking

Necip Uysal (Besiktas) is shown the yellow card.
Ersan Gülüm (Besiktas) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal).
Hand ball by Gökhan Töre (Besiktas).
Attempt blocked. Gökhan Töre (Besiktas) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Ramon.
Pedro Franco (Besiktas) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal).
Attempt missed. Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas) header from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Oguzhan Ozyakup with a cross.

Booking

Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas).
Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt missed. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Calum Chambers.

Substitution

Substitution, Arsenal. Calum Chambers replaces Mesut Özil.

Substitution

Substitution, Besiktas. Necip Uysal replaces Veli Kavlak.

Booking

Calum Chambers (Arsenal) is shown the yellow card.

Dismissal

Second yellow card to Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal) for a bad foul.
Mustafa Pektemek (Besiktas) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal).
Attempt saved. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Nacho Monreal with a cross.
Attempt blocked. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alexis Sánchez.
Attempt blocked. Veli Kavlak (Besiktas) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Oguzhan Ozyakup.
Foul by Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal).
Demba Ba (Besiktas) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain (Arsenal).
Gökhan Töre (Besiktas) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Ramon (Besiktas).
Attempt missed. Demba Ba (Besiktas) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Ramon.
Foul by Mathieu Flamini (Arsenal).
Demba Ba (Besiktas) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Besiktas. Gökhan Töre replaces Olcay Sahan.
Offside, Besiktas. Veli Kavlak tries a through ball, but Demba Ba is caught offside.
Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas).
Attempt missed. Mathieu Debuchy (Arsenal) header from the right side of the six yard box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Santiago Cazorla with a cross following a set piece situation.

Booking

Pedro Franco (Besiktas) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Mesut Özil (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Pedro Franco (Besiktas).
Attempt missed. Oguzhan Ozyakup (Besiktas) right footed shot from outside the box is too high from a direct free kick.
Foul by Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal).
Veli Kavlak (Besiktas) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Attempt blocked. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Attempt saved. Laurent Koscielny (Arsenal) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Mesut Özil with a cross.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Ersan Gülüm.
Attempt blocked. Alexis Sánchez (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by Jack Wilshere.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Tolga Zengin.
Foul by Jack Wilshere (Arsenal).
Atiba Hutchinson (Besiktas) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. Santiago Cazorla (Arsenal) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.
Corner, Arsenal. Conceded by Atiba Hutchinson.
goal

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