'The table is very congested' - Cech admits Arsenal are looking over their shoulder

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The Gunners goalkeeper insists the focus at the Emirates Stadium remains locked on leaders Chelsea but concedes that a top-four battle is intensifying

Petr Cech has admitted that Arsenal "need to look behind" as their standing inside the Premier League’s top four comes under threat.

The Gunners boast a faultless record of securing Champions League qualification under Arsene Wenger, but there is no guarantee that they will book a return ticket to that competition this season.

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Capital rivals Chelsea have opened up a commanding lead at the top of the table, with the Blues now 10 points clear of the chasing pack.

Arsenal sit alongside neighbours Tottenham in joint-second on 50 points, but Manchester United in sixth are just two points back on that total.

Manchester City in fifth also have a game in hand on all of those around them, which could allow them to move up the standings.

Petr Cech Arsenal 2017

With there so much to play for and so little separating five ambitious clubs, Cech acknowledges that Arsenal need to keep a close eye on those above and below them.

"They have a big advantage, Chelsea, so we need to keep winning our games," he told the Gunners’ official website.

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"And obviously not only looking ahead but we need to look behind as well because for the Champions League positions the table is very congested."

Arsenal returned to winning ways over the weekend by overcoming Hull City in a 2-0 victory at the Emirates Stadium.

Wenger’s side had suffered back-to-back defeats prior to that outing, and Cech is aware they cannot afford any more wobbles.

Arsenal Alexis Sanchez Hull City

He added: "We need to be consistent, that's the first thing. We have periods when we are doing really well, then we had a week when we lost both games and didn't play well.

"So we need to make sure that we carry on and improve where we can.

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"We need to make sure we are ready for every game because each game will be like a final.”

Arsenal are not in Premier League action again until March 4, with the first leg of a Champions League last-16 showdown against Bayern Munich and an FA Cup fifth-round tie at Sutton United next on their schedule.

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