Speaking after Arsenal’s 3-0 triumph against Olympiacos, veteran keeper Petr Cech revealed that the team knew they were capable of producing the result all along and that it was just a matter of taking their chances (via Arsenal.com). Heading into the game at Piraeus, Arsenal needed to win by a two goal margin to progress in the Champions League, and they did so in style as Olivier Giroud netted a hat-trick to guide Arsenal home.
It was a masterful display from an injury depleted side, who managed to secure the win despite the absence of some of their biggest names. It also shows the transformation Arsenal have undergone over the past couple of seasons, from being a side that faltered in the big games to a side that can thrive under pressure. Coupled with the win against Manchester United and Bayern Munich earlier this season, Arsenal have sent out a message that they are ready to challenge the biggest teams in Europe. And, they have a chance to prove themselves in the Premier League as well in the upcoming game against Manchester City.
Speaking to Arsenal Player, Cech said, “We played really well and we had to make sure we were in the game and we found our chances. Then we hit the crossbar and we finally got a goal. In the second half we knew we needed a second for the result and obviously we had a great goalscorer today in form and we know that when we score goals
that everything is easier. At the back we were magnificent.
“He [Giroud] is a real handful when we need him to play. What you want from your striker is to score goals and he has been scoring goals which is fantastic.
“Well it is a massive win for us, the club, the supporters and for the future because it will give us confidence. We wanted to go through and we obviously left it really late but to win this game against a very good team like Olympiacos and away [from home]… we knew winning the game was not enough, we had to score two goals and we did that.
“We knew if we played our game, if we have a great team performance and great individual performances then
we will have a chance, and we did say exactly that. The first goal was important because going 1-0 ahead, they knew that one goal would not take us through and were holding back as one goal can kill the game for them. So there was pressure from both sides and we managed to get the better side of that pressure ourselves. The second goal was obviously an important point in the game and we knew that we would be able to do it.
“I have to say we had to put the hard work in and a team effort and we were solid. In the first two games in very difficult position but today we showed we deserved to go through.”
Cech was reliable as usual in goal, making a couple of saves at crucial moments to keep the scoreline in our favour. The Czech international’s vast experience is a huge boon to have in the side, and it is clear that his presence has boosted our defence massively. Now the team need to focus on channeling the morale from this win into the Premier League, where we have a chance to climb to the top of the table by Christmas.