Jack Wilshere is confident Arsenal’s dramatic late fightback at Everton will provide the perfect springboard to see off Besiktas in tonight’s crucial Champions League showdown.
Arsene Wenger’s side head into the second leg of their play-off encounter against the Turkish side with the tie delicately poised after a goalless draw in Istanbul last week.
It was the first time in 13 matches Arsenal had failed to win a Champions League play-off fixture.
But the Gunners are feeling good about themselves after rescuing a 2-2 draw from an unpromising situation in their Premier League match against Everton on Saturday.
Trailing 2-0 with only seven minutes remaining, Arsenal looked destined for another dispiriting defeat against one of their rivals for a top four finish.
Yet Wenger’s men ignored the memories of last season’s capitulations at Manchester City, Chelsea, Liverpool and Everton and hit back to equalise thanks to Aaron Ramsey’s strike and Olivier Giroud’s last minute header.
It was the ideal morale booster ahead of Besiktas’s visit to the Emirates Stadium and England international Wilshere believes the fightback should inspire Arsenal to get the win they need to reach the group stages of Europe’s elite club competition for the 17th consecutive season. “This was a fantastic point and now we have a big game on Wednesday and this will give us great confidence going into that,” Wilshere said.
Wales midfielder Ramsey, who bagged the late winner against Palace, was key to Arsenal’s recovery on both occasions, but he will be missing against Besiktas after being sent off in Turkey.
TODAY’S UEFA CL FIXTURES
Arsenal vs Besiktas (0-0)
(SS3, 9.45 pm LIVE)
Bilbao vs Napoli (1-1)
(SS5, 9.45 pm LIVE)
Leverkusen vs Copenhagen (3-2)
(SS7, 9.45 pm LIVE)
Ludogorets vs S. Bucharest (0-1)
Malmo vs Salzburg (1-2)