Cech on Monreal’s mis-kick and doing a job on Sunday


Petr Cech says he had little choice but to concede an indirect free-kick when Nacho Monreal’s overhit and misdirected back pass threatened an own goal for Sunderland out of the blue.

Arsenal recovered from the scare on 48 minutes and went on to win the match 2-0 courtesy of a brace by Alexis Sanchez.

Although replays seem to show the Spaniard’s mis-kick was probably going wide, the Gunners keeper decided it was better not to take a risk and scrambled the ball around his post with his hands.

After consulting his assistant referee Roger East awarded an indirect free-kick just six yards from the goal line. The set piece was eventually cleared for a corner by Granit Xhaka after a clever flick over the wall by Seb Larsson.

Reflecting on the unusual situation, Cech explained: “Well it’s a mis-kick because obviously he [Monreal] wanted to pass it a completely different way.

“I was not sure whether it goes in or wide [if I didn’t touch it] because you don’t want to take any chances so I touched it and helped it a little bit wide, which I thought was going to be a corner because I didn’t catch the ball and I didn’t win a backpass.

“I don’t know, a lot of things can happen! I thought it was mis-kick and it would’ve been a corner, in the end the referee decided for a backpass which he has the right to do. The situation became a bit confusing because it is very hard, you have it on the goal-line so where do you put the players.

“I know the rule in this way says you need to be 10 yards or on the goal-line and everybody was everywhere so I think it was kind of a strange situation and I have to say we dealt with it well and that is the main important thing.”

Last night’s victory means Arsenal still have an outside chance of qualifying for the Champions League if they beat Everton on Sunday. It’s not ideal having to rely on Middlesbrough to get a result against Liverpool at Anfield but Cech insists his teammates must only worry about their own performance.

“Everything is possible but we have a difficult game ourselves,” continued the 34 year-old.

“Obviously they are a team who fights for the Europa League, obviously, so we try to get as many points and even if they can’t reach it, they will come here and they will try to finish the last game of their season. So it’s always important for everybody but as I said, we gave ourselves another chance.

“If we win our game, we do our job then we can sit and wait.”

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25 Comments on "Cech on Monreal’s mis-kick and doing a job on Sunday"

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This backpass rule gives me a headache

Dan Hunter

I thought a backpass only counted if the goalkeeper caught it? I remember when the rule came in and it was because the players would pass the ball back to the keeper who would hold it and waste time. This was a turn around the post, so surely the spirit of the game dictates it should have been a corner?


I think it’s gains control of the ball with his/her hands, rather than catches it. Which means this is a bit of a grey area.

a different George

Law 12, as now written, says it’s an indirect free kick if the keeper, in his own penalty area, “touches the ball with his hands after . . . it has been deliberately kicked to the goalkeeper by a team-mate.”

So, unless you want to argue that Nacho was not deliberately kicking it to Cech (he was really trying to concede a corner because he really enjoys defending them, or he wanted an own goal so he could be famous forever)–it looks like the referee got this right. Though I wonder what would have happened if Mike Dean had been the referee?

a different George

But reading Law 13, it seems to say that the kick was taken from the wrong place–it should have been from the six-yard line (“the nearest point on the goal area line which runs parallel to the goal line”) not from the goal line itself. So, it would have been even more dangerous–and we thank Roger East for getting it wrong.

a different George

And, at the risk of beating a really, really, about-to-expire horse: it is really clear from the law that defenders must be ten yards away when the kick is taken (like any free kick) unless they are standing on their own goal line between the goalposts. So, we got away with that as well.


Ah, I should have read this before responding to your last.


Not the six yard line, the point on the goal area boundary closest to where the offence occurred. Fortunately for us, that was closer to the side of the goal area than it was to the front.

Even more fortunately for us, East allowed players who were not on the goal line to be only about five yards away from the free kick instead of ten, which is ultimately what made defending it so simple. It’s hard to describe without actually drawing a picture, but all of our defenders who were lined up with the near goalpost should have been made to back up to about the middle of the goal, or to stand on the goal line. So we were lucky there.

a different George

I know I have seen them taken on the closest boundary line, as you say and as this one was–but here is the language in Law 13:

indirect free kicks to the attacking team for an offence inside the opponents’ goal area are taken from the nearest point on the goal area line WHICH RUNS PARALLEL TO THE GOAL LINE.

So, it looks like the kick should always be taken from some point on the six-yard line. Maybe I am missing something.


Anyone have footage of the Monreal back pass? I missed the game last night, can’t find it anywhere. Arsenalist seems to have had a deserved night off.


Arsenalist? With all the money we pay him how can he take a night off?


Unfortunately his channel was banned.

Cornelius P. Snuffington III
Cornelius P. Snuffington III

It’s at about the five-minute mark in this video: http://www.fullmatchesandshows.com/2017/05/16/arsenal-vs-sunderland-highlights/


Monreal wasn’t too tuned in yesterday. But if that ball has gone in we’d be in deep shit so Monreal ought to buy Cech and Xhaka a beer.


Xhaka is Muslim. So he does not drink beer. Maybe buy him a cuppa tea or coffee 🙂


If you’re a Muslim you’re obviously not allowed to drink alcohol. In the Bible, on the other hand, it says: go and get drunk, mate!


Not all muslims are teetotal, are they?!


They should be but they aren’t all in my experience – tend to be discreet about it though.

But on the subject of backpasses and subsequent freekicks, does anybody remember one at Highbury in the late nineties? I think it was David James (of Villa at the time?) and the free kick was tapped to Davor Suker who hammered it in, Poldi-style, just under the bar

Dan Hunter

most are…

Arsenal Pakistan!

Muslims by definition are followers of the religion Islam and our religion forbids us from drinking alcohol or taking any substance which can cause a human to not be in control of oneself so if a Muslim does consume alcohol he is a Muslim in name only not in practice. I’m a Muslim and 18 and haven’t had a sip of alcohol ever but having said that in this day and age there are many “Muslims” who do drink abroad and even here these days. So in short not all Muslims are teetotal but all are supposed to be. Hope I answered the question!


You did and thank you for the education.


You did, thanks.


Can you un-mod my response to Nordin now that you feel cleared up please, admin?

I was just using a phrase with the buy a beer comment!


Maybe he meant alcohol free beer. (Yeah, I don’t see the point either)


“clever flick over the wall by Seb Larsson.”

As far as I’m aware you aren’t allowed to scoop the ball like that from a free kick. It must be struck.