Improvement needed if Arsenal are to qualify for the group stages for the 17th consecutive time
PLAY-OFF, 1ST LEG
After a bad-tempered night in Istanbul, Arsenal will feel fortunate to have returned to London without losing ground in this crucial Champions League qualifier.
Arsene Wenger, for his part, will feel fortunate that he wasn't injured when a bottle was hurled at him from the stands at the final whistle.
Aaron Ramsey will miss the second leg after he was dismissed in the second half, Besiktas coach Slaven Bilic may join him in the stands after he was sent from the touchline for repeated dissent, and a Uefa investigation into the events of the night seems likely.
There may not have been any goals, but this was not a night short of incident. It could have started disastrously for Arsenal when Demba Ba, formerly of Chelsea, bounced the ball off the crossbar from the kick-off.
The Gunners had Wojciech Szczesny to thank for his awareness and agility - the Polish stopper just managing to turn the shot onto the woodwork.
That was enough to wake up everyone inside the vast Ataturk Stadium, the venue where Liverpool famously beat AC Milan in the final of this competition in 2005. But, while Arsenal did not lack ambition, they struggled to find fluency.
Alexis Sanchez made repeated inroads down the right flank, but was rarely able to find an appropriate target for a final ball.
This was not entirely his fault. The powerful Olivier Giroud, who should be everything that any team need in a lone striker, was in subdued form and was unable to dominate the penalty area.
Behind him, Jack Wilshere and Ramsey were less than the sum of their parts and for much of the game, Arsenal's best outlets were their fullbacks, Matthieu Debuchy and Nacho Monreal and their best performer was Szczesny, always alert to the frequent danger of Besiktas.
But, while Arsenal made the running, Bilic's side made the chances.
Ba should have opened the scoring just before the break when he capitalised on a slip by Calum Chambers, who retained his place at the centre of defence, but drove the ball wide when he was clean through on goal.
This, however, was an isolated moment of weakness from the 19-year-old.
For the most part, he dealt well with wave after wave of Turkish assaults, showing a maturity beyond his years and a pleasing decisiveness in the tackle. He is already looking like a fine acquisition.
Arsenal could have snatched a winner in the dying moments when Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain hit the post after an incisive burst into the box, but it would have been rather more than they deserved.
For all their work, they created few chances of note.
Little wonder that Bilic was so frustrated by the end that he pushed his luck too far with the officials.
On balance, Arsenal should be content with their work.
Turkish sides tend to be less formidable opposition away from their own supporters, although London's vast Turkish community is likely to ensure a good atmosphere at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners are vulnerable to the away goal, but should be more than capable of securing passage to their 17th consecutive group stage.
For the second time in four days, they were less impressive, but managed to escape without incurring damage.
While that can often be the sign of a team on their way to silverware, it's not the kind of form that Wenger would want as he approaches a difficult trip to Goodison Park on Sunday morning (Singapore time). Improvement is required.