REUTERS - Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech has defended striker Alexis Sanchez, dismissing media reports saying the Chilean was laughing at the side's collapse during their Champions League defeat at home to Bayern Munich last week.
Sanchez was seen to be laughing with Cech on the bench after the striker had been substituted in the 73rd minute of the 5-1 loss as the North London club crashed out of Europe, 10-2 on aggregate in the first knockout round.
"It is sad and he was as sad as I have seen him," the former Chelsea goalkeeper said. "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."
The North London club have lost five of their last eight matches in all competitions and the former Czech international said that the players must carry the blame as much as manager Arsene Wenger.
"Everybody has to share the responsibility for the position we are in and everybody has to work to get ourselves out of it," Cech added.
"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."
Fifth-placed Arsenal visit eighth-placed West Bromwich Albion on Saturday.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru)