Skip to main content

Champions League: Arsenal held by Besiktas

updated 5:36 AM EDT, Wed August 20, 2014
Arsenal and Besiktas will meet in north London next week for the second leg of their Champions League playoff tie.
Arsenal and Besiktas will meet in north London next week for the second leg of their Champions League playoff tie.
  • Arsenal finishes with 10 men in 0-0 draw at Besiktas
  • Aaron Ramsey sent off and will miss second leg in London
  • Italian club Napoli held 1-1 by Spain's Athletic Bilbao
  • Bayer Leverkusen defeats FC Copenhagen 3-2 in Denmark

Follow us at @WorldSportCNN and like us on Facebook

(CNN) -- There's a $33 million prize on offer -- but Arsenal's hopes of securing the cash are on the line.

A goalless draw in Turkey against Besiktas in the first leg of its Champions League playoff means the pressure will be cranked up another level when the two teams face up at Emirates Stadium next Wednesday.

Reduced to 10-men following the sending off of Aaron Ramsey, Arsenal will hope it can successfully see off a plucky Besiktas side and secure a 17th successive season in the group stage of Europe's top club competition.

Arsenal had won all 12 of its previous playoff matches in the competition but Wenger remains confident his side will progress and secure a healthy financial reward.

"It was a difficult game played at a frenetic pace throughout," Wenger told ITV.

"We could have won it but they had chances as well. In the end we didn't lose and hopefully we will make it at home.

"Both yellow cards for Aaron Ramsey are unbelievable. When you see the fouls they have made today it's not serious. Just not serious."

Ramsey's sending off, which came late on following a second yellow card, rules the midfielder out of next week's second leg.

And yet Arsenal still could have snatched victory with five minutes remaining when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's effort hit the post.

Aiming for a place in the group stage following last year's last-16 exit, Arsenal made a slow start and could have fallen behind inside the first minute.

Demba Ba, the former Newcastle and Chelsea forward, struck an effort straight from the kickoff which smashed against the crossbar.

Ba then went close again, forcing Arsenal goalkeeper Wojciech Szczesny into a sharp save with an ambitious volley.

Arsenal, which left it late to win its opening Premier League game of the season against Crystal Palace on Saturday, appeared to struggle with the poor quality of the playing surface.

Both Santi Cazorla and Olivier Giroud wasted decent openings, while Ba fired just wide after running in behind the Arsenal defense.

Lampard: Leaving Chelsea now feels right
Lampard determined to make mark on MLS

The second half, while just as frenetic, failed to provide a goal with neither side able to convert their chances.

Olcay Sahan wasted Besiktas' best opportunity, curling his effort wide of the far post after he had worked his way into the Arsenal penalty area.

With the game becoming ever more fractious, Ramsey was shown his second yellow card to leave Arsenal a man down for the remaining 10 minutes of the contest.

But it was the visitors who came closest to snatching a dramatic victory when Chamberlain weaved his way past a couple of challenges before lashing his effort against the post.

Elsewhere, Napoli came from behind to claim a 1-1 draw against Athletic Bilbao.

Iker Muniain gave the visiting side a first-half lead before Gonzaolo Higuain leveled for the home side.

In Denmark, FC Copenhagen was beaten 3-2 by Bayer Leverkusen despite having taken the lead on two separate occasions.

In the night's other games, Salzburg defeated Malmo 2-1 and Steaua saw off Ludogorets 1-0.

Part of complete coverage on
updated 7:51 AM EDT, Fri August 15, 2014
Last season Jose Mourinho wrote off the title of hopes of his "little horse" -- but now he has a squad primed to dethrone Manchester City.
updated 2:58 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Luis Suarez will have to wait until late October to make his competitive Barcelona debut his ban for biting an opponent was partially upheld.
updated 12:49 PM EDT, Thu August 14, 2014
Can Louis van Gaal cut it at Manchester United? Will Bayern conquer all in Germany? Is this PSG's year to win the Champions League?
updated 6:12 AM EDT, Thu August 7, 2014
It's been a difficult year for Barcelona on and off the pitch, and the signing of Luis Suarez has only increased the prospect of more controversy.
updated 10:35 AM EDT, Mon August 11, 2014
Germany striker Miroslav Klose, who scored a total of 16 goals at four World Cup finals, has announced his retirement from international football.
updated 7:45 AM EDT, Thu July 31, 2014
Cultural y Deportivo Leonesa line up in their tuxedo kit.
When celebrating an important anniversary, it's always good to look your best. At least that's theory for a Spanish football team's preseason tuxedo kit.
updated 7:03 AM EDT, Wed July 30, 2014
While many top European clubs are targeting the U.S. market, French football is setting its sights on expanding into Asia -- with China playing a key role.
updated 8:29 AM EDT, Sun July 27, 2014
Major League Soccer has snared another big name from England with former Chelsea star Frank Lampard committing his future to New York City FC.
updated 12:56 PM EDT, Wed July 23, 2014
Europe's top clubs have booked a summer holiday to the U.S. -- but this is business not pleasure as they look to cash in on the World Cup afterglow.
updated 2:28 PM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Brazil's new coach Dunga won the World Cup as a player in 1994.
Former World Cup-winning captain Dunga is appointed coach of Brazil's national team for the second time, charged with restoring national pride.
updated 10:20 AM EDT, Tue July 22, 2014
Colombia's World Cup star James Rodriguez continues Real Madrid's long tradition of signing "Galacticos."
updated 6:07 AM EDT, Mon July 21, 2014
Germany's World Cup-winning captain Philipp Lahm has decided to go out at the top by announcing his retirement from international football.