Petr Cech retains European hopes

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech Champions League

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Petr Cech admits Arsenal face a difficult to challenge to progress into the next round of the Champions League but the goalkeeper still believes his side have a chance of overhauling Barcelona.

The Gunners welcomed the Catalans to the Emirates on Tuesday night for the first-leg of their last-16 clash but the hosts could not get the better of the defending champions.

Argentina international Lionel Messi grabbed both goals in the 2-0 victory and handed Luis Enrique’s men a big advantage ahead of the return leg at the Camp Nou on March 16.

The Premier League outfit will be kicking themselves after the disappointing result as they passed up several good opportunities to score at least once in the contest.

Arsenal’s lack of cutting edge in the final third was clear to see and the likes of Olivier Giroud, Alexis Sanchez and Mesut Ozil will need to be firing on all cylinders in Spain.

Cech, who won Europe’s elite competition with Chelsea, is still feeling optimistic about the chances of progressing and the shot-stopper is hoping a positive result can be achieved.

He said: “It is a difficult deficit to overcome but 2-0 is not 5-0 and we have 90 minutes with a chance.”

Arsenal, who are massive 101.00 outsiders to win the Champions League, return to domestic action on Sunday when they take on Manchester United at Old Trafford.

The visitors, who are pushing hard for the title this term, are slight favourites at 2.60 to triumph over their rivals, a draw is priced at 3.20 while the Red Devils are a 2.88 shot to clinch all three points.

Louis van Gaal’s men have not won in their last two top flight outings but they did return to winning ways on Monday when defeating Shrewsbury Town 3-0 in the FA Cup.

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