Petr Cech defends Alexis Sanchez over claims Arsenal teammate laughed on bench during Bayern Munich defeat

Sanchez came in for criticism when he appeared in jovial spirits while sat on the bench having been substituted during Arsenal's record defeat at the Emirates Stadium

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Petr Cech has leapt to the defence of under-fire team-mate Alexis Sanchez and insists any 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 while sat on the bench having been substituted during Arsenal's record defeat at the Emirates Stadium.

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

Sanchez scored and played a pivotal role in the victory but 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.

But the experienced goalkeeper explained the situation and said Sanchez had been just as low as his colleagues following the humbling at the hands of Bayern.

"It is sad and he was as sad as I have seen him," the former Chelsea goalkeeper 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."

Cech also defended Wenger as the manager continues to come in for criticism and increasingly splits the Arsenal fan-base as he admits he does not know if he will sign a new deal or leave the club when his contract expires in the summer.

Arsenal have lost five of their last eight, only beating non-league pair Sutton and Lincoln and Premier League strugglers Hull in that time, but Cech reckons the players are just as much to blame as Wenger.

"In a way the manager plays as big part but you as a player are on the pitch," he said.

"He cannot make you run if you don't want to he cannot make you make the right decision in the heat of the moment.

"The players obviously have to share the responsibility, everybody has to share the responsibility for the position we are in and everybody has to work to get ourselves out of it.

"This is the way it is. This week after Bayern especially was a difficult three days, we had to make sure we got ready, and we got ready and this is the reaction you need.

"I think in football everything goes fast and as fast as you can go up you can go down. So basically every day you work to be ready.

"In football you only work for the things you can control, you cannot control the outside world, you can only control your preparation, you can only control your performances.

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Alexis Sanchez's future remains up in the air at Arsenal (Getty)

"So as a player you focus on that and I believe as a manager he does the same thing. This is going to be the key now, be ready, be prepared as a team and then do the best we can do. Then I think if you bring the results, (the) atmosphere will change."

A second protest march against Wenger's reign in the space of a week was held before the Lincoln tie and, with more and more criticism appearing to come his way, the Frenchman is long enough in the tooth to know he will never please everyone.

"You have to accept that nothing is good enough," he said.

"You have to live with that and we have to accept that. The world has changed. No matter what happens in the future, you will always have to lose games.

"Nobody can guarantee that you will only win games. Look, we are in the semi-finals of the FA Cup. How many times have we been in the semi-finals of the FA Cup? So..."

PA

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