Belfast Telegraph

Criticism of Arsenal's Sanchez was disrespectful, argues Cech

Arsenal 5 Lincoln City 0

By Mark Mann-Bryans

Petr Cech has leapt to the defence of under-fire team-mate Alexis Sanchez and insists claims that the player was laughing at Arsenal's plight during their 5-1 thrashing to Bayern Munich are "disrespectful".

Sanchez came in for criticism when he appeared in jovial spirits after having been substituted during Arsenal's record defeat at the Emirates.

The Gunners crashed out 10-2 on aggregate to the Bayern and slipped off the pace in the title race, although they returned to winning ways with a 5-0 FA Cup quarter-final win over non-league Lincoln on Saturday.

Sanchez had been dropped for the defeat at Liverpool a week earlier amid speculation he had been involved in a training ground bust-up. Manager Arsene Wenger refuted those reports but, after taking the Chile forward off during the Champions League humiliation, Sanchez was photographed laughing with Cech.

However, the goalkeeper explained Sanchez had been just as low as his colleagues. "It is sad and he was as sad as I have seen him," Cech said.

"Unfortunately when you say the sentence, 'had we scored the second goal everything could look different' and then you do 'ooph' (exhale) you know, but in the end, the reality is you are 5-1 down and somebody twists it and says you are laughing on the bench.

"I found it very disrespectful to the player. But obviously you can take the picture and you can interpret it the way you want unfortunately.

"But we the players, we know exactly what he said and we know how he was hurting and he was as disappointed as anybody else.

"It is unfortunate and disappointing," he said.

Belfast Telegraph

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