Wenger: Clean sheet milestone weighed on Cech’s mind

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After 15 failed attempts, Petr Cech finally saved a penalty in Arsenal colours and just for good measure it helped him reach 200 Premier League clean sheets as the Gunners ran out 3-0 winners against Watford at the Emirates.

The 35-year-old stopped Troy Deeney’s spot-kick on 62 minutes, his first Premier League penalty save since February 2011 for Chelsea against Fulham, as he ended an 11 game run without a clean sheet – the longest of his career.

Arsene Wenger was quick to praise the achievement, while also hinting that the impending milestone may have been playing on Cech’s mind for the last few months.

“Petr Cech shows a little bit how quickly things change in football,” he said. “He was in hell last week and in heaven today. But, I would like to personally congratulate him for a remarkable achievement.

“I have a huge respect for consistency. It shows a huge level of motivation and intelligence, and he shows plenty of that.

“It [the milestone] did [play on his mind]. I am convinced. They all say no, but we know all – it’s not true.”

Cech first had the chance to reach the 200 clean sheet mark when Liverpool visited the Emirates just before the Emirates just before Christmas. He’s endured a tough time since and is obviously relieved to finally reach the target.

“It’s been a while and I have to say that it’s never happened that I’ve had to wait 11 games for a clean sheet,” he told Arsenal.com.

“In the stretch it was quite frustrating at times. We had so many games where we had a big result, especially at home when you take the games against Everton and Crystal Palace. In the end, you are 4-0 up and we conceded late goals.

“Sometimes you go through stretches like that as a team, as an individual and obviously you have to find your way out. We had a massive game in Milan and we managed to win there with a clean sheet.

“Today, I thought we carried that with us. It was not as easy a game as the score says, because we scored in important moments, they missed a penalty and they had a couple of chances in the first half. So we had to defend properly until the last second and we did so.”

He added: “I always say when you go through a difficult period, the last thing you change is your work, your attitude and your precision in the every day work that you do. So I kept working and I kept working.

“I know how I managed to get this far, so I carried on my work and I thought that one day it would turn back. Today it was an important save, so the question of is it a penalty here or there and will he save one? Well, today I did. So we can carry on.”

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Runzac
Runzac

Huge respect for Chech and Arsene. Nothing will ever change that.
But change is coming, I can feel it!

Pedant
Pedant

Just keep the clean sheets going for the rest of the season Pete, you’ll be forgiven.

Evang. Simon
Evang. Simon

It is good for brethren to dwell together in winning ways

Anonymarse
Anonymarse
Robins Boost
Robins Boost

I worry every time auba does that goal celebration. Hope there’s gonna be many more positive worrying moments this season and beyond then! #positiveworry

I\'m the Shad man
I\'m the Shad man

Dinner weighed on Troy Deeney’s mind

Mike A Terrian
Mike A Terrian

I like how for the penalty this time he didn’t dive out the way

Jorin
Jorin

Cech showed some cajones for sure when he saved the penalty.

Brian
Brian

Saving that penalty ton protect his 200th clean sheet was just a great moment.

Reality check
Reality check

Deaney and watford put back in their place, at least some pride is restored. Team showed heart and guts, have to respect that, especially Ozil, you could tell he’s up for blood and pain, and he’s taken the responsibility to lead our attack, be our main man.

Zyrth
Zyrth

Well deserved his 200th clean sheet. Earned it with that save.

Robins Boost
Robins Boost

Yes. Ozil would do very well and enjoy his football more with micky in the team. Like how we had creative players playing together in hleb fab tomas. Makes me dream how we’d be playing if we had mesut/ micky/ santi. Im sure auba shares the same dream.
Oh and on auba. His movement and speed is oh so good. He gonna get goals.

Onenil
Onenil

Maybe Deeney can give a motivational speech to the Arsenal team before every match. It worked brilliantly for this one.