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.”