Goalkeeper Cech slams Arsenal's first-half show in their 1-2 loss to Watford; says Londoners wanted a win before facing leaders Chelsea on Saturday
Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud wears a dejected look after a Watford goal during their EPL match in London on Tuesday. Pic/Getty Images
London: Petr Cech admits Arsenal were handed a “huge setback” ahead of their crunch meeting with Chelsea at the weekend as Watford left the Emirates Stadium with all three points on Tuesday night.
The Gunners were shocked as their visitors raced into a two-goal lead courtesy of Younes Kaboul and Troy Deeney. Alex Iwobi hit back for Arsenal at the start of the second half to reduce the deficit to 2-1 to leave them nine points behind leaders Chelsea. A tough trip to Chelsea awaits the Gunners next.
“This was a huge setback because this was the game we wanted to win,” he said. “We wanted to put ourselves in a better position going into the weekend. 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. We were second best in the first half. We made bad passes, we lost every challenge, and we were simply second best,”âÂÂCech added. “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.”
Cech insists the players were prepared for the test after Wenger questioned whether his players were “mentally ready” for the challenge posed by Watford. “We had a very bad start,” the Czech goalkeeper added.
“We were unlucky with the first goal when it takes a big deflection and it goes in. Obviously it gave a lot of hope and motivation to Watford's side because it was something that lifted them up.
“But then I think we didn't play well at all. 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, we had the momentum and the Southampton game went completely the way we wanted,” Cech rued.