Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech issued an apology on Twitter as his bid error contributed to a 3-1 defeat against relegation battlers Swansea on a night when Arsene Wenger's side may have been affected by a swirl of transfer rumours.
Henrikh Mkhitaryan made his Arsenal debut following his move from Manchester United, but he was unable to stop a defeat that puts a huge dent in the Gunners hopes of getting back into the mix to secure a top four finish.
Although mistakes are part of the game I always expect 100 % from myself and I’m not happy with the one I made today ... back to work tomorrow !— Petr Cech (@PetrCech) January 30, 2018
Cech's alarming error that handed Swansea a 2-1 lead was significant in the outcome and inspired the veteran keeper to issue an apology on Twitter (above), with Wenger accepting his side did not deserve anything amid a lacklustre display in Wales.
"I felt defensively we were very poor and made big mistakes. It's better not to talk about the second or third goals," admitted Wenger.
"Swansea were sharp, disciplined and hungry. Unfortunately I believe we were not good enough, I believe we were not disciplined enough."
The defeat leaves Arsenal eight points behind fourth place Liverpool, with the possible arrival of striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from Borrusia Dortmund dominating Wenger's post match press conference.
Independent.ie confirmed on Monday that Arsenal had agreed a £55m deal to sign Aubameyang, but his move to Arsenal depends on a possible moves for Olivier Giroud to a rival club.
When asked about his attempt to sign Aubameyang, Wenger suggested there was no update as the countdown to the transfer deadline ticked down: "That as well we will inform you tomorrow because it is deadline (day) tomorrow."
Wenger also offered up a tribute to Giroud, who may have played his final game for Arsenal at Swansea as he is being linked with moves to Borussia Dortmund and Chelsea.
"He is a guy who gave great service to the club and never let us down on the commitment front and saved us many times," added Wenger.
Asked if he would be sad to see Giroud go, Wenger added: "Yes. Personally I took him from Montpellier and made him a strong international player for France. We have come together through good and bad, but always his behaviour was top, top class. At the end the respect is more linked to that than to all the rest."
On the prospect of losing Giroud to a Premier League rival in Chelsea, the Arsenal manager added: "At the moment I don't want to talk much about where he goes, if he goes, because that will be definitely decided. Nothing is concluded at the moment."