Arsenal's path to the Champions League group stage has gotten harder after Aaron Ramsey picked up a red card in the club's play-off game against Besiktas.
The Gunners were having serious trouble in the first of a two-legged battle against the Turkish club. Ramsey did not make things any better when he picked up a yellow card in the 54th minute for pulling an opponent down by his jersey.
Unfortunately, things got even worse when the midfielder was booked for his second yellow in the 80th minute, as noted by Fox Soccer:
RED CARD, Arsenal! Aaron Ramsey is off with his second yellow card and the Gunners are down to 10 men with 10 minutes to go. #UCLonFOX— FOX Soccer (@FOXSoccer) August 19, 2014
The call came on a play that was easily avoidable, with people like Tancredi Palmeri of beIN Sports questioning the decision:
Such a stupid 2nd yellow from Ramsey— Tancredi Palmeri (@tancredipalmeri) August 19, 2014
Bleacher Report's Michael Cummings notes the poor effort from a usually solid player:
Two silly yellow cards for Aaron Ramsey tonight. We (correctly) heap praise on him often, but this time he deserves criticism.— Michael Cummings (@MikeCummings37) August 19, 2014
On the positive side, this is not something fans are used to seeing from Ramsey:
1 - Aaron Ramsey has been sent off for the first time in his club career. Rambo.— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) August 19, 2014
This did not make the situation any better for the current match, though. Arsenal were forced to close out the competition with a man down, hurting their chances of pulling out a victory in the 0-0 match. The squad eventually ended in a draw, which is rare for Arsenal at this stage, according to ESPN's Paul Carr:
Arsenal draws 0-0 at Besiktas. First time Arsenal fails to win in 13 all-time UCL playoff games.— Paul Carr (@PCarrESPN) August 19, 2014
James Olley of the London Evening Standard believes the red card was a problem that should not have happened:
FT 0-0 Both will rue missed chances, Ramsey red card avoidable. Something thrown at Wenger at FT. Looked furious - reported to an official.— James Olley (@JamesOlley) August 19, 2014
Additionally, Oliver Todd of the Daily Mail notes things will not get much better for the return leg:
Aaron Ramsey out of the second leg too now. Big loss for Arsenal. Idiotic foul for the second yellow.— Oliver Todd (@oliver_todd) August 19, 2014
Ramsey was one of the most productive players for Arsenal last season and one of the best in the entire English Premier League. Without him, the squad could end up struggling to come through in the difficult match.
Meanwhile, this has been a common theme for the club in UCL play:
Arsenal: Have had a player sent off in 3 of their last 4 matches in Champions League competition #BESvAFC— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) August 19, 2014
No matter the outcome, you can be certain manager Arsene Wenger will not be happy and will likely do his best to correct this issue in the future.
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