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Aug 19, 2014

Wenger: Ramsey red unbelievable

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger branded Aaron Ramsey's late sending off against Besiktas "unbelievable" following his side's goalless draw in the Champions League playoff first leg.

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Already on a yellow card, Ramsey pulled back Oguzhan Ozyakup's shirt in the dying minutes at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium and was subsequently shown the first red card of his club career by referee Milorad Mazic.

The midfielder will now miss next week's return leg at the Emirates Stadium.

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

Besiktas forward Demba Ba proved a constant threat for the home side as the former Chelsea striker went close on numerous occasions, while substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain saw a late effort tipped on to the post.

Wenger conceded it was a frantic game and both teams wasted chances to take a lead to North London. However, the Frenchman believes his side are capable of doing the job at home in order to secure their place in the group-stage draw.

He added: "It was a difficult game played at a frenetic pace from the first minute to the last. We could have won it but they had chances as well, in the first half alone. In the end we didn't lose and hopefully we will make it at home.

Despite seeing Ramsey red-carded and Mikel Arteta walk off the pitch with a suspected ankle injury, Wenger took solace in a pleasing performance from summer signing Calum Chambers.

Wenger said: "I think he was once again very good tonight and very convincing in his performance. He coped with the pressure, won the challenges and played on a pitch that was not easy. He did very well."

Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny also weighed in, hailing the impact made by Calum Chambers in his first few weeks at the club,  "He's been fantastic for us and adapted very quickly to being a centre back," Szczesny told the Arsenal website.

"He only came in preseason so he hasn't a lot of time to train with us in this position. You can't tell that he's only 19 years old. He looks like a very experienced centre-back. He's doing very well at the moment."

Szczesny went on to suggest a victory by any method would be accepted for Arsenal in the second leg, with the tie poised evenly after the scoreless first leg.

"It doesn't have to be a pretty one but we want to get through and secure Champions League football," he added. "We always want to play better and the only thing we can focus on is getting a result in the second leg.

"This was exactly what you would expect from a Champions League fixture. It was a good test for us and we came out with a clean sheet. We'll be confident going into the second leg."

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