Flamini on character and Besiktas

Mathieu Flamini has praised Arsenal’s togetherness after they progressed to the group stages of the Champions League for the 17th consecutive season.

On a tight and tense evening at Emirates Stadium, Alexis Sanchez's first goal for the club ultimately proved enough to see off the challenge of Besiktas.

The Gunners were forced to play the final 15 minutes with 10 men following Mathieu Debuchy's red card and Flamini was delighted with the way the team responded.

"The fans, they were amazing. They were behind us and played a great game too"

"It was not easy at all," he told Arsenal Player. "It was a tough game for us but we showed great character again. We didn't give up until the last minute. The team gave everything and we even had to play 10 against 11 at the end, so it was definitely not easy.

"It was very tough, physically especially, because we just had a big match at Everton where we were 2-0 down and had to come back. Today we had to give 100 per cent again. It was not easy but the team spirit, the character was fantastic. I'm very happy because we had to fight for that one.

"We controlled the game and played nice football. In this game, it's important to kill the [tie]. Killing the game would have meant scoring the second goal. We didn't - everyone was worried until the last minute but we did a great job with this victory. It was important for everyone.

"I could feel the pressure because [we were] playing 10 against 11 with 15 minutes to go against a team who were pushing with nothing to lose. With us not scoring the second goal, of course there was a lot of pressure but the fans, they were amazing. They were behind us and played a great game too.”

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