Arsenal’s disastrous outing against Watford was a huge setback to their Premier League dreams, and Petr Cech blames the loss on a poor first half display.
Watford players – Y. Kaboul and T. Deeny – scored in the 10th and 13th minute respectively.
The Gunners got a timely comeback when Alex Iwobi scored in the 58th minute, but Arsenal’s hope of leveling up before time remained a dream until the last whistle.
However, Cech sais he believes the two first half goals destroyed every hope they had, adding that the team was mentally and physically prepared for the game. The former Chelsea goalkeeper said they’re are yet to figure out reasons for the woeful outing against a low-rated Watford.
The Czech Republic star admits they were sluggish in the first 45 minutes.
Speaking in an interview with Arsenal Player, he said: “We had a very bad start.
“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 this was something that lifted them up. But then I think we didn’t play well at all,” he added.
“We were second best in the first half. We made so many bad passes, we lost every challenge, we were simply second best, as I said.
“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.”
The goalkeeper believes Arsenal could have won their match if no goals were conceded in the first half. He also argued that they lacked team spirit after the first half goals and made no meaningful efforts to get back into the game.
“We had chances but the keeper made some very good saves, we hit the bar and we could say we were unlucky in that way. But for the first-half performance, we actually didn’t deserve a little bit of luck,” he said.
“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.
“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, important wins, we had the momentum after the Burnley game and obviously the Southampton game went completely our way, exactly the way we wanted.
“This was a huge setback because this was the game we wanted to win and we wanted to put ourselves in a better position going into the weekend.”
Arsenal will face Chelsea on 4 February, 2017.