Petr Cech believes the confidence gained from our impressive 1-0 FA Cup triumph over Manchester United can only benefit us as we look to finish the season strongly on all fronts.
The Chelsea goalkeeper, who was in inspired form when called upon against the Premier League leaders, has won the competition on four occasions, and felt we deserved our place in the semi-finals, where we will now face Manchester City.
‘It was a great win, there’s only one way to win the cup, we knew we had to win the game and we did it in very good fashion,’ said Cech.
‘It was important, any FA Cup progress is important for your season. We wanted to book a place at Wembley, we had great opposition and it was a great match. We are happy we managed to win the game.
‘We seem to have a special relationship with the FA Cup; we treat it with respect, every season we try to win it and we get something back. We have another tough game against City, but it’s a semi-final so you expect a tough game.’
Demba Ba will grab the headlines after scoring the only goal of the game with a stunning volley early in the second half, but we had Cech to thank for preserving our lead when he pulled off a sublime save to deny Jarvier Hernandez from equalising.
As Danny Welbeck’s cross from the right landed on the head of the United striker, there appeared to be only one outcome, but somehow Cech thwarted Hernandez by tipping his header over the bar.
‘It was a great ball from the wing and Javier did well to direct the ball into the goal,’ explained the Blues’ goalkeeper. ‘I went as fast as I could and left my left arm to do the job. I tried to cover as much space as I could and luckily I was able to reach it.
‘I knew before the cross came that Hernandez was there, so I knew I’d have to be really quick to get there, that’s what allowed me to make the save. You need to have awareness of the people around you as it helps you make the right decision.
‘It was an important moment in the game, I’m sure a lot of people could already see the ball in the goal, so I was glad I got enough on it to push it over.
‘I got a few messages from other players and keepers, it’s great that people can appreciate the save. Even in the first half with the shot from Hernandez, when the ball moved away from me, it was a scary moment and it took a lot of energy for me to kick the ball away, so I’m pleased with the way I played.’
After bouncing back from the disappointment of Saturday’s defeat at Southampton, we now go into the first leg of our Europa League quarter-final against Rubin Kazan on Thursday in good spirits, and having booked our place in the semi-finals of one competition, Cech is confident we can repeat the feat in another.
‘It’s always important to beat big teams for the confidence,’ he explained. ‘We are not having such a fantastic season in terms of the league, but t shows we can still beat the top teams and it gives us confidence to play another game on Thursday.’
‘We have another semi-final to book in the Europa League and hopefully we are going to go through.’