Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has this evening taken the blame for his side’s defeat at the hands of Brighton, admitting that ‘the damage was done’ following his two early errors.
The Gunners travelled to the Amex Stadium earlier this afternoon, with Arsene Wenger’s men having come into proceedings on the back of a 3-match losing streak across all competitions.
The Gunners followed an embarrassing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Swedish outfit Osterund in the Europa League with consecutive 3-0 losses to Manchester City, first in the final of the Carabao Cup and then in the Premier League this past Thursday night.
Brighton, on the other hand, hadn’t lost in their last 6 fixtures across all competitions, and put Swansea to the sword by 4 goals to 1 in hugely impressive fashion in their last outing.
Despite the contrasting form of both sides, Arsenal were still viewed as favourites ahead of today’s clash, though, with the North Londoners boasting the likes of Mesut Ozil, Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in their starting XI.
But a shocking start for Arsene Wenger’s men this afternoon made the road to victory an uphill task with just 7 minutes on the clock, as Lewis Dunk prodded home after central defensive partner Shane Duffy beat Petr Cech to an inswinging corner from the left.
And matters soon got worse for the visitors, as Laurent Koscielny’s slack pass out of defence eventually saw Pascal Groß’s pinpoint cross nodded home by the unmarked Glenn Murray with 26 minutes on the clock.
Arsenal did manage to pull one back shortly before half-time through Aubameyang, but struggled to carve out clear-cut opportunities over the course of the second-half, as Brighton held on for a historic 3 points.
One man who came in for particularly heavy criticism for his performance this afternoon was Petr Cech, with the veteran shot-stopper having added another pair of errors to his growing collection this season.
The opening goal of the clash saw the former Chelsea star beaten far too easily in the air by the incoming Shane Duffy, who managed to rise above Cech’s outstretched hands with his head, leaving an open goal for Lewis Dunk to finish into.
And Brighton’s second, courtesy of Glenn Murray, saw the Gunners’ no.1 slow to get down to his left, allowing the English striker’s relatively tame header to slip past his hands and into the net.
Cech, for his part, seems to be fully aware that he cost his side this afternoon, with the 35-year-old having taken to Twitter a short time ago to accept the blame for Arsenal’s defeat:
If you want to win a game away of home in the best league in the world your GK can’t concede 2 goals like I did today … it’s simply not possible … The team fought back but the damage was done .
— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) March 4, 2018