Petr Cech spoke to the media after Arsenal were beaten at home by Chelsea. Here’s what the goalkeeper said:

on the disappointment of losing…
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.

on the red card…
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.

Per Mertesacker
Per Mertesacker

on a need to regroup…
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. When you play against the champions and are down to 10 men for such a long time… we are only three points off the lead and have Leicester and Southampton at home coming up. They are difficult games but if we can keep winning our games, we can go back to the top.

on Chelsea being hard to break down with 10 men…
Well, they took advantage of it [their man advantage] quite early, and I think that was the decisive moment in the game. They could sit back, they could control the game, keep possession and wait for their opportunities. We had to sit a bit deeper and wait for our opportunities to counter-attack. In the second half, we were more aggressive. We tried to search for the equaliser and I thought we did really well. In the first half, we had a few tight offsides and some chances where we maybe missed a little bit of the quality to score. We knew at half-time that we would have another chance to equalise. We had some half chances and there were some moments where we were close but we couldn’t find the equaliser.

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24 Jan 2016