Date: 5th February 2017 at 10:15pm
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Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Laurent Koscielny and Petr Cech have all given their thoughts following defeat to Chelsea at the weekend.

Having travelled to Stamford Bridge and been roundly beaten three one on the day with Olivier Giroud’s consolation late on in Saturday’s match, Oxlade-Chamberlain was one of the players interviewed following the full time whistle, and he told the Official Site that we made mistakes at the wrong times of the game.

‘We didn`t take our chances and made some crucial mistakes at crucial times. They took their chances – I think the first goal was a little bit unlucky on our part. They hit the crossbar and the bounce went for them. Alonso got the jump on Hector and that was 1-0. But we knew we were still in the game, and at half-time we said we had to keep going.’

Oxlade-Chamberlain went on to say.

‘We came out in the second half and controlled spells of the game. They controlled spells but it was a great goal from Eden Hazard, which we should have stopped earlier at source. That was disappointing. Then a mistake at the end killed the game for us. Olivier got one back but at the end it was too late. At the top level, against a team like Chelsea, there`s a good chance they`ll punish you if you make mistakes and they did that today.’

As for the title, those questions obviously figured and he knew it was out of our hands and a long shot now given the gap and juding by the latest Premier League odds.

‘It`s slipped further out of our hands and there`s no hiding from that now. The gap is much bigger now and it`s going to be hard. But we play for Arsenal Football Club – if we don`t go until the end, we don`t deserve to be here. We`ve got to keep doing that.’

Moving on to Koscielny he felt in his own interview that Arsenal had showed a reasonably decent response to the Watford game in this one, but despite playing well at points we didn’t match Chelsea at key moments and they took full advantage of that.

‘I think we had a good reaction but Chelsea played well and they scored with their first opportunity during the first half. After, we had some opportunities to score too, but we didn`t take them – that is the difference between us and them. In the second half we tried to come back because we knew this game was very important for the race for the title. We needed to have the three points, first because it`s our direct opponent and second because we lost against Watford on Tuesday. We are disappointed tonight but we need to come back stronger, to play and to win. The confidence is a little bit down but with a win it will come back quickly. We need to work together to stay like a unit, like a squad. During the season we`ve had some bad moments but we need to stay confident and show our quality.’

Adding.

‘I don`t think we played very well together in the same way, it was more one player after one player. I think we`d have had a lot of chances if we`d played quickly with our passing, on the flank we had to combine to have some opportunities. We did it in the first half. During a big game, if you don`t take your opportunities, it`s difficult to win the game. We need to be more efficient in both boxes.’

Finally, Petr Cech was also discussing the game and the implications for the title race.

‘I thought that first half we did pretty well, but obviously they had their first chance and they managed to tap in the rebound which gave them confidence and this is what they needed because they could close the space and wait for the counter-attack. They are dangerous on the counter-attack, but we didn`t allow them to have many chances. Second half we felt that we were still in the game, that we could come out second half and score the equaliser and then to see what we can do. Unfortunately the next goal came for them, and then obviously the third one. I gifted them the third one. It`s a shame.’

With chances on the day to at least better impact the final scoreline, Cech added.

‘Of course. If you look at efficiency, they created three chances, they put two of them in the back of the net. Obviously I don`t count the third one, it came after a mistake. But we had some chances and normally we score one, which makes the difference in a game like that.’

Ending his interviews Cech wouldn’t give up hope of the title, but he knew it was now going to be incredibly tough to achieve it.

‘We are still mathematically in but obviously we are a long way behind. We need to make sure that we win our next games and we need to now win pretty much every game if we want to hope, so let`s see how we go.’

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