Saturday’s emphatic win over Spurs moved us seven points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League table, though nearest challengers Liverpool, Arsenal and Manchester City were without a league game this weekend. After a first half in which we had looked solid if unspectacular, the team exploded into life after the break and capitalised on a medley of Tottenham errors to ultimately cruise to a 4-0 success.
Reflecting on the win that extends our unbeaten record against Saturday’s visitors at Stamford Bridge to 27 games, Cech was thrilled with the manner in which we were able to up our game in the second half.
‘Obviously for us and for the Chelsea fans it’s a massive game,’ said our goalkeeper. ‘It’s a local derby and we wanted to do well, so we’re delighted with the 4-0 victory. They are a tough opponent to play against and they proved that in the first half.
‘Sometimes it’s difficult to find the right gear when you come back from the national team. It took us quite a while to get going but we did really well in the second half. Once we got the goal we put them under pressure, we punished their mistakes and that made the difference. When they went down to 10 men there was no doubt we were going to win the game.
‘It’s also credit to the guys who are not playing that much. Anything can happen and you need everybody in the team to be ready. Samuel came in one minute prior to kick-off and Demba came on for the last 15 minutes and they both did really well. They keep working hard and waiting for the opportunities to help the team achieve success. Everybody seems to be doing that.’
Cech, a veteran of all three of our Premier League triumphs, is well-placed to assess what it takes to cross the line in first place. He insists a short-term approach in the season’s final couple of months is absolutely vital.
‘We are going game by game, we keep saying that and that’s actually what we’ve been doing. We will try to stay on top of the league as long as we can. There’s plenty of football to be played but we are in the position where we would like to finish the season.
‘City have enough experience and quality in their squad to win their games in hand, and it’s up to them to do that. We are in a good position, we go game by game and we try to do our best.’