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Jan 31, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at Emirates Stadium
Attendance: 60,035

1-2

Iwobi (58')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Kaboul (10'), Deeney (13')

Petr Cech: 'Arsenal defeat to Watford is a huge setback'

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech admits that his side's 2-1 home defeat to Watford is a "huge setback" for their title hopes.

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has admitted that his side's 2-1 defeat at the hands of Watford last night was a "huge setback" to their title hopes.

The Gunners found themselves two goals down inside 15 minutes at the Emirates Stadium - a deficit they were unable to recover despite Alex Iwobi pulling one back for the hosts in the second half.

The result sees Arsenal slip down to third in the Premier League table, now nine points adrift of Chelsea, and Cech acknowledged that his side were punished for a lacklustre start to the match.

"This was a huge setback because this was the game we wanted to win. We wanted to put ourselves in a better position going into the weekend. 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," he told Arsenal Player.

"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.

"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. 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."

Arsenal face league leaders Chelsea on Sunday looking to cut the gap at the top of the table back to six points.

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Arsene Wenger watches on during the Premier League game between Manchester City and Arsenal on December 18, 2016
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