Whenever big competition comes to Istanbul, the rabid local fan bases are almost certain to drum up a storm around the visiting teams’ hotels, looking to interrupt the players’ sleep the night ahead of the matches. To be fair this “tradition” extends to certain fan bases all over the world, but Istanbul can get especially rowdy. For that reason, many clubs usually book two different hotels to try and throw off the troublemakers.
Arsenal, of course, didn’t do that. So after word spread on social media that the Gunners had taken up quarters in Istanbul’s Wyndham Hotel Kalamış, a mob of Fenerbahce fans duly swarmed over there and went to work, shooting dozens of flares and firecrackers into the night.
Amazingly, no Arsenal players were injured.
Of course, the fans’ “support” could all be for nothing. Fenerbahce has been expelled from all UEFA competition this season and is awaiting a decision from the Court of Arbitration for Sport today on their appeal. Should the suspension stand, Arsenal automatically goes through to the Champions League group stage.