Petr Cech has hit out at his teammates for the first-half display against Watford which saw the Gunners go 2-0 down within 13 minutes. The Gunners grew into the match but could only get one goal back on a hugely disappointing evening at the Emirates (via Arsenal.com).
It was one of the most depressing matches in recent seasons for Arsenal fans. After the buzz of the 5-0 demolition at Southampton on the weekend and with Chelsea dropping points against Liverpool, the stage was set for the Gunners to pile the pressure on ahead of the weekend.
Arsene Wenger’s men could’ve been going into the match at Stamford bridge just six points behind the leaders, knowing that a win would put them within touching distance. Now, the Gunners are nine behind and goalkeeper Petr Cech has cursed the first-half display which saw Arsenal go down 2-0 within 13 minutes of the match kicking off.
“We were second best in the first half,” he told Arsenal Player. “We made so many bad passes, we lost every challenge, we were simply second best, as I said. In the second half we improved, we had a lot of chances. I thought we were brilliant second half, but obviously, we only scored one goal.
“We had chances but the keeper made some very good saves, we hit the bar and we could say we were unlucky in that way. But for the first-half performance, we actually didn’t deserve a little bit of luck.
“I always say that at this level you cannot play 80 minutes, or 85. You have to play 90 minutes with full concentration and everybody on top of their game.
“It was too much for us to take in the first half and it’s very hard to say why because we were prepared, we were on back-to-back wins, important wins, we had the momentum after the Burnley game and obviously the Southampton game went completely our way, exactly the way we wanted.
“This was a huge setback because this was the game we wanted to win and we wanted to put ourselves in a better position going into the weekend.”
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Cech is right. It was a bitter blow on what could’ve been a hugely significant night at the Emirates. Even if the Gunners go to Stamford Bridge and win on Saturday, they’ll still be six points behind the leaders which seems like a lot given the form of the Blues in recent months. Lose on Saturday and Arsenal can say goodbye to the Premier League title for another year.