Cech rues Arsenal defeat: “We’ve made it difficult for ourselves”

Goalkeeper Petr Cech lamented Arsenal’s inability to convert their chances following a shock 1-0 first leg defeat to BATE Borisov in the Europa League on Thursday.

Despite a bright start in sub-zero conditions in Belarus, Arsenal quickly faded away and registered just three shots on target despite boasting 77% of the ball possession.

And the Gunners were made to pay a big price for that with Stanislav Dragun heading in Igor Stasevich’s free-kick just before half-time to secure BATE a shock 1-0 win.

“We didn’t take our chances,” admitted Cech on Arsenal.com.

“I think that in the first half we played well and created enough chances to go ahead in the game, but unfortunately we didn’t take our chances and we conceded in the last minute of the half, which obviously gives them a lot of confidence and belief.”

French striker Alexandre Lacazette had a goal disallowed in the second half for offside with Arsenal having now lost three of their last four away games.

Unai Emery’s side now have it all to do in the return leg at the Emirates Stadium next Thursday if they are to progress in their Round of 32 tie.

“In the second half they were waiting for the counter-attack and we were trying to find our way to score the goal and we scored one, but it was ruled as offside,” continued Cech.

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“We got the result we didn’t want. We want to score goals and we want to win and we want to put ourselves in a good position for the second leg, but we’ve made it more difficult for ourselves.”

Soon after seeing his goal disallowed, Lacazette was shown a red card for elbowing Aleksandar Filipovic.

“From where I was standing I thought that the referee ran quickly and his decision was made in no time, so they all quickly knew that he wants to give a red card,” said Cech.

The 27-year-old later took to social media to apologise to the Arsenal supporters for his sending-off.


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