Arsene Wenger says that his Arsenal side know the task ahead of them if they are to qualify for the Champions League.
The Gunners drew in qualification for Europe’s elite competition last night – fighting out a 0-0 draw with Besiktas – and will have to be wary when they played the second leg in London next Tuesday.
The Turkish opponents had moments of quality throughout the match and showed enough to suggest that they could pull off an upset if Arsenal are not at the top of their game.
And Wenger, despite being confidence of progressing to the group-stages, does admit that their task won’t be an easy one.
"We know the second leg will be certainly tight again, but we are at home, so the task is clear for us, we want to win,” the Frenchman said.
Arsenal have been uninspiring in their opening two matches and know that they need to improve if they are to meet their high expectations this season.
Wenger was happy to acknowledge that his side hadn’t done enough to win the match last night, too, saying that a draw was probably a fair reflection on the way the game had panned out.
"It was a difficult match, played at a high pace," he said. "Besiktas played with 100 per cent pace in the game and fought for every single ball, and it was quick. We needed a great level of concentration.
"We always want to win but look, Besiktas could have won the game, and we could have won the game as well. Maybe a draw is a fair result because both teams had chances to win the game.”
Arsenal have qualified for the Champions League in every season since the 1996/97 campaign and will still be expected to progress to the group-stages next week despite their failure to win last night.
They go into the match at the Emirates as heavy favourites and, in-front of an expectant home crowd, they should have enough ability to ensure that they make it through.
However, it is far from a guarantee and Besiktas, whose attack was spearheaded by Demba Ba last night, certainly showed enough to suggest that they could challenge Arsenal.
If they do manage to spring a surprise it would be a huge dent in what is supposed to be a very good season for the red-half of North-London.
After a summer of big-spending expectations are high at the Emirates at Wenger will be keen to ensure that they maintain this optimism by making it through to the Champions League group-stages.
Will Arsenal qualify for the Champions League?