Interview

‘We know we can overcome the deficit’

Cech

Despite slipping to defeat in Rennes, Petr Cech is still confident we can progress to the next stage of the Europa League.

Thursday’s last-16 first-leg clash got off to the perfect start when Alex Iwobi found the bottom corner inside three minutes, but then Sokratis’ red card saw the game turn on its head.

Benjamin Bourigeaud scored from the resulting free-kick, before Nacho Monreal’s unfortunate own goal and Ismaila Sarr’s diving header inflicted further damage, leaving us with a mountain to climb in next week’s return leg at Emirates Stadium. 

But despite the result, Cech believes we have more than enough quality to overcome the deficit.

on the red card…
The turning point was the red card because they managed to score from the resulting free-kick. When we went down to 10 men in the first half, it became a lot more difficult. We were unlucky with the second goal because it was an own goal from a deflection, but I thought we were still in the game. I think the biggest disappointment is the third goal because at 2-1, you go home and you know that there’s a result where you’ve scored away at home and you can overcome it. We can still overcome a two-goal deficit because in the end the goal we scored might play a big part, but we made it a little bit harder for ourselves.

on Henrikh Mkhitaryan playing right back…
Henrikh played well there so credit to him because it’s not his natural position but he’s done very well for the team. You need to try to find a way to defend well and I thought we did that really well. They had the advantage because they were fresher as they didn’t have any games over the weekend. We had to dig deep and with the unlucky second goal, you go and think we’ll take 2-1 because maybe there will be an opportunity to score to make it 2-2. Then we lost 3-1, which is a bit of a complication.

on turning it around…
Of course. At home we can win. We created some chances today as well so we have to be positive. We’ve done it in the past where we’ve been 2-0 down and have overcome the deficit. One positive is that we can give it a go in the week to overcome it.