Champions League play-off: Fenerbahce v Arsenal - LIVE! - Live coverage - The Independent

Champions League play-off: Fenerbahce v Arsenal - LIVE!

By Jack de Menezes

by Jack de Menezes on Aug 21, 2013 at 1:13 PM

Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of tonight's Champions League play-off first leg between Fenerbahce and Arsenal live from the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium.

We want to hear what you have to say. To do this, click the 'Make a comment' button below and we'll post the best ones.

Follow minute-by-minute updates below...
  • Welcome to The Independent's live coverage of tonight's Champions League play-off first leg between Fenerbahce and Arsenal.
    8/21/2013 12:06:39 PM
  • 8/21/2013 12:16:49 PM
  • 8/21/2013 12:19:11 PM
  • Fenerbahce v Arsenal match preview:
    Arsene Wenger’s team suffered a disappointing 3-1 home loss to Aston Villa on Saturday and pressure is on the Arsenal manager and his team to gain a positive result in Turkey before the return leg at the Emirates next Tuesday. If Arsenal do qualify it will be the sixteenth season in a row that Arsene Wenger has led his team into European football’s elite competition.
    To read more of Jez Davison's match preview, click HERE.
    8/21/2013 12:52:44 PM
  • Arsene Wenger has been on the defensive after receiving criticism for his lack of transfer activity this summer, writes James Olley:
    "I have to focus on and do what I always do – what is important for this club. You cannot look all the time in life at what others do and what you do. You do what is right for you."
    To read more of what Wenger had to say, click HERE.

    8/21/2013 12:55:17 PM
  • There is reason for Arsenal fans to be cheerful despite the poor start, writes James Orr:
    It is not the best of times for Arsenal at the moment - an opening day defeat, no luck in the transfer window, a team blighted by injuries and pressure on manager Arsene Wenger coming from all sides.

    But here is something to brighten up the day ahead of tonight’s first-leg Champions League qualifier against Fenerbahce. Arsenal have progressed on each of the five occasions they have had to go through the qualifying round to reach the competition, winning all 10 of their fixtures, and conceding only three goals.
    To read more on Arsenal's hugely successful history in the Champions League play-offs, click HERE.
    8/21/2013 12:58:21 PM
  • Here's Arsenal training earlier this week. Their blue and yellow striped attire came in for a bit of criticism. Perhaps that's what Cazorla's laughing about

    8/21/2013 2:01:33 PM
  • 8/21/2013 3:24:56 PM
  • 8/21/2013 3:24:57 PM
  • Ahead of tonight's match - much has been made of the hostile atmosphere the Gunners will face in Turkey. Here's some pictures involving Fenerbahce fans taken in the last 12 months that perhaps illustrate what's being alluded to...

    8/21/2013 3:24:57 PM
  • We've been asking you to vote in our poll on what you think the result will be tonight. Perhaps it's that defeat to Aston Villa and the lack of new arrivals - but the midway results are pretty pessimistic. 36 per cent of you think Fenerbahce will take a slim lead to the Emirates next week.

    That could all change though as the poll remains open. To take part - CLICK HERE.
    8/21/2013 4:30:16 PM
  • The Independent has James Olley in Turkey to report on the match. Hope he realises it's not the 5th of November...

    8/21/2013 5:10:11 PM
  • With under an hour and a half to go until kick-off, the tension is slowly rising for the majority of Arsenal fans. It's well and truly rocking at the Sukru Saracoglu though, with fans known to arrive up to five hours before kick-off. Oh, and they like a flare or two...
    8/21/2013 5:26:28 PM
  • A man under pressure? Arsene Wenger was certainly on the defensive in his press conference yesterday, but he's adamant that new players will arrive at Arsenal this summer. His words, not mine...

    8/21/2013 5:31:38 PM
  • Remember the last time these two sides met in Turkey? It was 5 years ago, and Arsenal ran out 5-2 winners. The American commentary is also rather amusing...

    8/21/2013 5:38:56 PM
  • The teams are in...

    8/21/2013 5:55:02 PM
  • Arsenal starting line-up: Wojciech Szczesny, Bacary Sagna, Per Mertesacker, Laurent Koscielny, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Tomas Rosicky, Olivier Giroud.
    8/21/2013 5:55:49 PM
  • Fenerbahce starting line-up: Volkan Demirel, Bekir İrtegün, Bruno Alves, Joseph Yobo, Michal Kadlec, Mehmet Topal, Raul Meireles, Emre Belözoğlu, Moussa Sow, Pierre Webó, Dirk Kuyt.
    8/21/2013 5:58:07 PM
  • Santi Cazorla gets his first start of the season having come off the bench against Aston Villa. Arsenal's concerns over quintet Bacary Sagna, Kieran Gibbs, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere and Tomas Rosicky have been dismissed as they start the match. Does that make Arsenal fans more confident?

    Meanwhile, Fenerbahce go with three up top in Moussa Sow, Pierre Webo and old adversary Dirk Kuyt, who actually scored against the Gunners from the penalty spot in 2011. 
    8/21/2013 6:00:37 PM
  • How do you feel about the teams? Think Wenger needed to make some changes after Saturday's defeat? Confident that the return of Cazorla will boost the side? Comment with your opinions and I'll post the best ones.
    8/21/2013 6:05:34 PM
  • The Arsenal changing room before kick-off. Not too sure about the kit...or the green boots...

    8/21/2013 6:07:23 PM
  • There's some good news on the bench for Arsenal, as Nacho Monreal is fit to take a place among the substitutes. He's joined by Lukas Fabianski, Carl Jenkinson, Emmanuel Frimpong, Serge Gnabry, Lukas Podolski and Yaya Sanogo
    8/21/2013 6:11:46 PM
  • Fenerbahce subs: Gunok, Korkmaz, Baroni, Potuk, Emenike, Gonul, Erkin. It seems it's not just Arsenal's bench that needs a few known names added to it...
    8/21/2013 6:13:53 PM
  • A few of your Tweets so far...

    8/21/2013 6:16:45 PM
  • Is Dan a Fenerbahce fan? Or maybe a secret Liverpool fan...

    8/21/2013 6:19:14 PM
  • I'd also like to know who you think Arsenal should sign. Cabaye? Suarez? What about Rooney? Send them in and we'll see what the fans think. or use the #FENVAFC to send them in via Twitter.
    8/21/2013 6:21:58 PM
  • Fenerbahce do have on secret weapon on the bench though. Emmanuel Emenike signed for the club earlier this month from Russian side Spartak Moscow having scored 2 goals in 42 league games. Anyone tipping him to score a winner?
    8/21/2013 6:24:29 PM
  • Remember, you have until kick-off to vote in our poll on whether you think Arsenal will take a lead back to the Emirates. Just 20 minutes now till we're underway...
    8/21/2013 6:25:19 PM
  • A few more tweets from some less then confident Gunners...

    8/21/2013 6:28:04 PM
  • I've got a quick question for you. Who has the worst haircut?
    8/21/2013 6:34:49 PM
  • Arsenal right-back Bacary Sagna?

    8/21/2013 6:35:04 PM
  • Or Fenerbahce midfielder Raul Meireles?

    8/21/2013 6:35:54 PM
  • Our man at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium James Olley:

    8/21/2013 6:38:32 PM
  • I think we have a winner...

    8/21/2013 6:40:11 PM
  • 5 minutes to go and the teams are in the tunnel. Last chance to vote in our poll...
    8/21/2013 6:40:51 PM
  • A bit of info for you before that match, our referee tonight is Gianluca Rocchi of Italy, and the two assistant referees are Elenito Di Liberatore and Gianluca Cariolato - both also of Italy.

    Here come the teams and that famous Champions League Anthem!
    8/21/2013 6:42:53 PM
  • No more voting! 37% of you have gone for a narrow Fenerbahce win. Interesting. 29% say an Arsenal win by a goal, 24% reckon 4-0 to Arsenal and the rest are back the Turks.
    8/21/2013 6:45:59 PM
  • And we're underway!
    8/21/2013 6:46:05 PM
  • 1 mins: Wilshere wins an early free-kick after Kuyt catches him. Early possession for the visitors, and Sagna gets in a cross that the keeper takes easily.
    8/21/2013 6:47:43 PM
  • 2 mins: Webo's turn to cross in from the left, but it's not pretty as it sails past the goal. Arsenal head back up-field and Giroud tries to feed Walcott, but even he can't catch that one.
    8/21/2013 6:48:59 PM
  • 3 mins: Mertesacker gives away a needless free-kick, but Fenerbahce choose to work the ball around and Arsenal win it back.
    8/21/2013 6:49:56 PM
  • 4 mins: Cazorla feeds Walcott on the edge of the box, and he sets his sights on goal, but it's blocked. The ball eventually comes to Wilshere who plays in Walcott, and it's knocked out for a corner.
    8/21/2013 6:51:03 PM
  • 5 mins: Corner comes to nothing, although Arsenal still have possession on the edge of the area. Meireles steals the ball off Wilshere, but the Gunners win it back immediately. Fenerbahce struggling to get out of their half at the moment.
    8/21/2013 6:52:09 PM
  • 7 mins: Again, Fenerbahce try to work inside the Arsenal half but give the ball away immediately. The visitor's have definitely settled the quicker here, but they did against Villa too, and look how that ended.
    8/21/2013 6:53:33 PM
  • 8 mins: Rosicky penalised for not a lot, it looked as if he got pushed to the floor, but the referee says otherwise. Fenerbahce now with some possession, but Kuyt is offside and they lose it again.
    8/21/2013 6:54:38 PM
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