Speaking to Arsenal Player, veteran keeper Petr Cech highlighted the importance of Arsenal’s win against Manchester City, saying that a victory was necessary for Arsenal to keep up with league leaders Leicester City (via Arsenal.com). The Foxes won their game away at Everton, meaning that we had to beat Man City to remain two points behind them heading into Christmas.
Cech revealed that the team approached the game with the mentality of a six-pointer, and that climbing to the top of the league table is the current objective of the side.
“I think it was a six-pointer. Leicester won their game and their game away and we needed to close the gap again. Manchester City were one point behind us so it was a very important game,” he said.
“You could see we were ready and we put in a good performance. In the second half we pushed harder and the last 15 minutes we were more tired and we put in a magnificent effort. They scored a goal out of nowhere and I have to say it gave them confidence and motivation for the last minutes so they pushed hard for the equaliser but I thought we were brilliant and this is why we managed to see the game out.
“We have the desire and ambition. We have been coping with everything that has come at us and that is the way we go on. Day by day you prepare for games and you work as hard as you can to be in that position. In this game it is far more important to win 2-1 that have a clean sheet in a 0-0 draw.”
Since his arrival at the Emirates last summer, the Czech international has grown to become one of our key players, and he displayed that once again yesterday as he calmly stopped several of City’s attempts on goal. Sergio Aguero and Jesus Navas were frustrated on multiple occasions despite having good chances, and the only reason we were unable to maintain a clean sheet was due to a moment of magic from Yaya Toure – the Ivorian’s shot would not have been stopped by any keeper in the world.
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Cech also took the time to speak about teammate Mesut Ozil, who was selected in the Sky Sports Team of the Season.
The German World Cup winner has been the driving force behind Arsenal’s victories this season, and Cech felt that the honour was much deserved.
“Mesut is a world champion,” Cech said.
“A player with experience from international games and as well from his time at Real Madrid so obviously he is a key player for us. He has been playing brilliantly this season [but] so have the other players. Today was a brilliant team effort and everyone in the team put in the shift we needed to win a big game like that and obviously we are happy with the overall performance.”
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Arsenal seem like a highly mature and efficient outfit this season, much more so than we have seen over the past few years. A large part of that could be down to the presence of Petr Cech, who is a veteran with experience of winning every single major trophy possible – his inclusion in the team has certainly galvanised the defence to the point that Arsenal are one of the most miserly teams in the Premier League. This is something that was inconceivable 12 months ago, back when we were forced to play Nacho Monreal in central defence and call upon the unknown Hector Bellerin to fill in at right back. Hopefully the defence is able to continue playing at this level over the second half of the season as well.
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