Petr Cech has warned Arsenal they need to win all their remaining games if they are to climb into the Premier League’s top five.
The Gunners slipped to a fifth-successive league defeat on the road for the first time since December 1984 when they lost 2-1 at Newcastle on Sunday, leaving them in sixth place, six points behind Chelsea in fifth and 13 adrift of fourth-placed derby rivals Tottenham.
Arsene Wenger’s men have struggled to balance the demands of the Europa League – in which they face Atletico Madrid in a two-legged semi-final – and their domestic commitments since the turn of the year with the game at St James’ Park a case in point.
Cech told the Evening Standard: “We are in the two competitions, so now need to keep switching between them and do our best. We are in a position now where we must win all our remaining games and hope it lifts us in the table.
“We are in a very difficult moment because everybody else has a big advantage.
“In the Europa League, we have a semi-final to play, so we need to make sure we are ready.
“It’s not the first time we were 1-0 up away and we didn’t get anything in the game.”
Alexandre Lacazette’s 14th-minute strike got the visitors off to the perfect start and although Ayoze Perez equalised 15 minutes later, Callum Chambers and Premier League debutant Joe Willock both passed up good opportunities as their side dominated the first half.
But the Magpies raised their tempo after the break and won it through Matt Ritchie’s 68th-minute goal, leaving Cech and his team-mates to once again bemoan their failings away from the Emirates Stadium.
The 35-year-old said: “It’s very difficult to explain why because until last season, we were one of the best teams in terms of the away record. But somehow it has completely reversed this season and we don’t seem to find the answer for it.
“When you commit so many team mistakes, away or home, you get punished and Sunday proved that. Of course you try to address that, but clearly the same things are happening.
“We don’t do these mistakes – the team mistakes – when we play at home. Unfortunately, it has affected our results.”