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Cech says Gunners ‘still alive’ after Barca loss

Petr Cech watches as Arsenal's Hector Bellerin clears the ball from his goal mouth during the Champions League defeat against Barcelona at The Emirates on February 23, 2016

Petr Cech watches as Arsenal’s Hector Bellerin clears the ball from his goal mouth during the Champions League defeat against Barcelona at The Emirates on February 23, 2016

LONDON, February 24 – Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech said Wednesday his team still had a chance to reach the Champions League quarter-finals despite a 2-0 loss to reigning titleholders Barcelona.

“We are still alive,” the 33-year-old Czech Republic keeper said on his website following Tuesday’s loss at the Emirates.

“It’s not as if we conceded five goals,” he added.

Cech, who joined Arsenal from Chelsea before this season, offered a few good saves on Tuesday but failed to stop Lionel Messi who scored 71 minutes into the game before adding a second from the penalty spot on 83 minutes.

“The second goal trimmed our chances for the second leg. But nothing’s lost yet,” said Cech.

“If we play the same way and improve productivity, we still have a chance to turn the fight for the last eight into a drama.”

The return leg tie is at the Camp Nou on March 16.

Cech bemoaned the Gunners’ failure to score, which he said made the biggest difference between both teams.

“If you play against one of the favourites to win the competition and you create chances, you have to convert at least one,” said Cech.

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Messi beat Cech for the first time in their seven encounters, but Cech waved his record aside.

“I regret our loss, not being beaten by one of the best footballers in history,” he said.

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