Cech: Brilliant performance just needed last touch

Mark Holmes
Petr Cech: Said Arsenal were brilliant against Chelsea

Petr Cech says Arsenal were brilliant after going a man down against Chelsea and were just lacking a final touch to make their performance count.

The Gunners missed the chance to reclaim top spot in the Premier League on Sunday as Diego Costa scored the only goal of the game after 23 minutes, five minutes after playing a key role in the sending-off of Per Mertesacker.

Discussing the decision to hand the German a red card, Cech told Arsenal’s official website: “The referee was very close. He had a clear view of the situation and he decided straight away to give a red card. There was no hesitation from anyone.

“We just had to deal with the fact. You just go on. He can’t change the decision anyway by protesting for three minutes.

“We had to regroup, we had to make sure that we reorganised and try to continue with 10 men. Unfortunately we conceded too early after the sending off.

“We are disappointed because we lost a game at home. We wanted to compete, we wanted to take advantage of playing at home, but unfortunately the decisive moment came quite early on in the game.

“Unfortunately Chelsea took advantage of that and scored. From there, they tried to control the game and playing 11 against 10 for 70 minutes is always an advantage [for Chelsea].

“I thought that, even with 10 men, we came back very strongly in the second half. We could have actually scored the equaliser, but we were missing a little bit of the last touch inside the box and around the box. There were always moments where we almost got there, but we didn’t find a real opportunity to put the ball in the net.

“I thought for 70 minutes we were brilliant, in terms of the team effort and the organisation. We were not far from getting something out of the game.”