'Angry and disappointed' Petr Cech admits Arsenal's top four hopes hang by a thread

James Benge
AFP/Getty Images

An “angry and disappointed” Petr Cech admitted Arsenal’s hopes of a top four finish are serious doubt after their 2-0 defeat to Tottenham at White Hart Lane.

Despite a sterling effort from the Arsenal goalkeeper Spurs assured themselves of a first Premier League finish above Arsenal since 1995 with victory in the final North London Derby at their current home, Dele Alli and Harry Kane striking in a three-minute blitz just before the hour.

Arsenal had headed into Sunday’s game believing they needed to win their remaining six league games to secure a top four finish and must now make up a six point gap on Liverpool and Manchester City, albeit with a game in hand, if they are to secure Champions League qualification.

Speaking after the defeat Cech told Arsenal Player he felt “angry and disappointed. Obviously this is not a game we wanted to lose and this is a very big disappointment for us.

“At half-time I felt we were in the game and in the second half we wanted to improve, we wanted to play to win the game. The second half was our best half - they put us under pressure, created chances and in the end they scored two goals.

“It hurts because it was a huge game for both teams. They needed to win to keep their title chances alive.

“We needed to win to keep our Champions League finishing position [hopes] alive and obviously we are very disappointed because it’s a north London derby, it means a lot to the fans and it meant a lot to the club, to us. We needed three points and in the end we have none.”

The only silver lining for Arsenal may be that their rivals in the top four hunt have not yet taken advantage of their woeful recent form.

Both Manchester City and Manchester United drew against sides in the bottom three ahead of the North London Derby, ensuring that Arsenal maintain a glimmer of hope before the visit of the latter to the Emirates on Sunday.

“We need to win our remaining games and then we will see,” Cech added. “The others are losing points as well sometimes so our job is to win the remaining games and then we will see.

“Our target is to play for titles so we are disappointed with our season because we aren’t playing for a title. We have five games to play and we are out of the title race. It was not the objective so we are disappointed with that.

“Tottenham finishing above us or doing better is one thing, but I think the most important thing for the club, for the players, for everybody is to reach your own targets, not to worry about what the others are doing.”