Petr Cech emphasized the importance of the massive 5-1 victory over West Ham United as Arsenal climbed into second position in the Premier League.
A memorable hat-trick from Alexis Sanchez, a close range tap-in by Mesut Ozil and a 20-yard effort by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain saw Arsenal walk away comfortably with three points and maintain pressure on fellow title challengers.
Goalkeeper Cech couldn’t manage a clean sheet but helped to restrict West Ham for large parts of the tie with one crucial save in particular preventing the hosts coming back into the tie. Speaking post-match the retired Czech international insisted the win was an absolute necessity.
“It became a kind of must win game for us when Chelsea won and obviously the gap opened to six points,” he said as reported by Arsenal’s official website.
“We knew what we had to do and we did it in a very professional way, so we are happy.
“We had a lot of opportunities in the first half but it wouldn’t go in. In the second half at 1-0 the keeper made some fantastic saves and you think it could still be a dangerous scoreline.
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“I know a lot of people would have been a bit anxious, but we showed the maturity not to panic and we kept going. We thoroughly deserved the goals for our performance.”
The victory led Arsenal to narrowing the gap with current league leaders Chelsea to a mere three points. Although the Gunners are currently second, they could move down to third if Liverpool win their match against Bournemouth (currently 2-0 up).
That said, the result against the Hammers has clearly defined Arsene Wenger’s side as title challengers and their unbeaten run since the opening game of the season bodes well for their chances of silverware this season.