Petr Cech says Manchester City’s superior attacking talent made the difference on Sunday although he allowed himself to think Arsenal might snatch a point after Alexandre Lacazette came off the bench to reduce the deficit.
The Gunners were outplayed for much of the match but briefly flirted with a daring comeback at 2-1 before Gabriel Jesus, with a helping hand from the officials, killed the game with City’s third.
“I thought that at 2-1, when we just got back into the game, that we were in it,” Cech told Arsenal.com.
“We had time to search for the equaliser but the third goal obviously made a huge difference. At 2-1 the game was going on and we had some good passages of play where we could have put them more under pressure and searched for the equaliser.
“At 3-1, it gave the advantage back to them. They are an experienced team with a lot of quality and they took advantage of that.”
After the match, Arsene Wenger lamented poor officiating, particularly for the failure to flag David Silva offside in the build-up to the home side’s third goal, at a time when his players were starting to look dangerous.
Cech also noted that the incident proved a turning point, whether the decision was right or wrong.
“I can’t really comment on the penalty incident because I had the players running from a completely different angle to the referee,” he added.
“Suddenly I saw Sterling falling and the referee’s decision. At the moment, without seeing anything on the TV, I can’t really comment on that.
“The third goal, I was surprised when it went in because I thought Silva was far [in front] of everybody. But again, the referee has a better view than I did and you have to accept the decision.
“I think the referees have a difficult enough job. They need to make their decisions. If he got it right or wrong, I don’t know, but obviously, the third goal made a difference because it took away the opportunity for us to find the equaliser.”