Playing with 10 men is never easier, but it’s a huge ask when you’re up against the champions.

Chelsea may not be the side they were a year ago, but they still have plenty of players with huge quality and nobody knows it better than Petr Čech. The Arsenal goalkeeper was naturally left disappointed by Sunday’s 1-0 defeat but has backed his team-mates to respond.

The early red card shown to Per Mertesacker meant we were always going to struggle, but we responded fairly well after going a goal behind even though we couldn’t find an equaliser.

“I thought for 70 minutes we were brilliant, in terms of the team effort and the organisation,” Čech told Sky Sports after the game. “We were not far from getting something out of the game.”

We didn’t get anything out of the game, meaning we leave the weekend in third place having entered it top of the Premier League.

The FA Cup is next week, but after that we face Southampton and title rivals Leicester City at home. Those games will be huge with the top of the league so tight.

“We are only three points off the lead and have Leicester and Southampton at home coming up. They are difficult games but if we can keep winning our games, we can go back to the top.”

Čech has been in this position plenty of times before and if anyone knows what to say to keep the squad on track it’s him.

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