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Wenger: Arsenal's experience will be crucial

Aaron Ramsey was sent off during the first leg in Istanbul. Credit: PA

Arsene Wenger is hoping that his team's big match experience will see them through to the group stage of the Champions League. The Gunners must beat Besiktas tonight at the Emirates Stadium in the second leg of their Champions League qualifying tie - the first leg last week finished 0-0.

However, they will be without midfielder Aaron Ramsey who is suspended after being sent off in Istanbul. Striker Olivier Giroud is also out after picking up an injury. But Wenger believes his team is strong enough to cope:

Experience plays a big part. We have big experience in the Champions League of playing high pressure games and we can use that. This group is strong and mentally prepared and ready for the fight. What's most important is that we go out and play at our best.

– Arsene Wenger, Arsenal Manager

Wenger: "We can survive" without Champions League money

Arsene Wenger is hoping to lead the Gunners to the group stage for the 17th consecutive season. Credit: PA

Arsene Wenger has said that his club will adapt financially if they fail to qualify for the lucrative group stage of the Champions League. Arsenal play Besiktas tonight at the Emirates Stadium in the second leg of their qualifying tie. The first leg in Istanbul finished 0-0 so the Gunners are at risk of going out, especially if they concede an away goal.

A place in the group stage is worth millions of pounds but Wenger said his club could cope if they fail to qualify:

"It will affect us because we'll have less income, but it will not affect our balance sheet in a dramatic way because we can survive without that. We want to be in the Champions League because we want to play top level football. Financially we've always adapted. When we had small resources, we always adapted to having small resources."

– Arsene Wenger, Arsenal Manager


Aaron Ramsey apologises for getting sent off in Champions League qualifier

Arsenal midfielder Aaron Ramsey has said sorry for the red card he received in last night's Champions League qualifying match against Besiktas. He will be suspended for the second leg next week.

Wenger criticises referee over Ramsey red card

Aaron Ramsey heads to the dressing room after his red card in Istanbul. Credit: Reuters/Murad Sezer

The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has said the performance of referee Milorad Mazic was "very bad" during last night's first leg match of their Champions League qualifying tie. The Gunners drew 0-0 away to the Turkish side Besiktas but had midfielder Aaron Ramsey sent off for two yellow cards.

Neither the first nor the second yellow card was deserved for Aaron Ramsey. In the second half the performance of the referee was very bad. Ramsey's second yellow card, I cannot see where that comes from, it was a huge decision.

– Arsene Wenger

The second leg is at the Emirates Stadium in a week's time.