Most of the focus was understandably on the attacking part of Chelsea’s play following the four-goal haul that overcame Tottenham at the weekend, but with Andre Villas-Boas’s side registering 16 shots on-target during the game, Petr Cech played an important part in the victory too.
No save was probably more crucial than the one from Kyle Walker close to the end that kept the Blues in the lead, moments before the same Spurs full-back was robbed by Juan Mata who found Daniel Sturridge to make sure of the win. It was a save that pleased the Chelsea goalkeeper.
‘I didn’t see the ball much because there was a wall of defenders and players standing there,’ explained Cech, ‘and I think David Luiz wanted to kick the ball away and suddenly he pulled his leg back. This was only when I saw the ball so it was a good reaction, I am glad I managed to turn it around the post.
‘There were a lot of shots and we knew at home Tottenham would always threaten, and that is what happened. But we defended very well as a unit overall and in the last 20 minutes we could have scored more goals.
‘They had some chances and we had some chances and in the end we put them in the back of the net which made the difference. It was a great reaction from our players because at 2-1 down and having not won at Spurs for a long time, you think here we go again but it was not the case and we knew how to get back into the game. We scored some great goals.
‘If you start slowly in this league, you get punished quickly,’ Cech added, turning his attention to the two-goal salvo that wiped out the Chelsea first-half lead. ‘Tottenham are a very good team and this is why they punished us for starting slowly at the start of the second half, but this is something to learn from and it shows a lot of things about our team, that we didn’t collapse and it gave us a lot of motivation to come back into the game.
‘We conceded two goals and we still won a game away from home against a team with a lot of quality players, and we are delighted with that.’
Cech is a player who understands the strain of being a near-ever present in a team challenging for multiple trophies plus mixing it with an international career, and he adds his name to those who believe the rest given to Juan Mata recently did the player, and consequently the Chelsea team, a power of good. There was plenty of evidence for this on Saturday.
‘People were surprised when he left us after the start of the season and went for a holiday but you can’t play two seasons in a row,’ insisted Cech.
‘By this time he would have been burnt out without any break but now you can see he still has the hunger to play and he is fit and has a lot of energy. It is great to see him playing like that.’
Cech flies with the rest of the squad to Ukraine today (Monday) for an important Champions League game, and the big matches keep coming on the return to league action next weekend as we look to extend a run that has seen just two points dropped from a possible 24.
‘We have made many good starts in the time I have been here but we started slowly the first two games this season. We seem to get better as the team gets to know each other,’ said Cech.
‘Now we have played two tough away games at Arsenal and Spurs and we got six points which is a huge advantage, but now we await the game against Manchester United at home because that will be a another big test.’