Petr Cech was pretty much the main reason that Arsenal managed to escape our clash against Middlesbrough at the Emirates with a point.
The goalless draw was far from boring with both sides having numerous chances each; Arsenal had nine (five on target) while Boro had 11(4). However, in the first half, it was one man who managed to prevent three or four should-have-been shots from being actual goals.
The keeper made five saves against Boro, mostly in the first half and then late on in the second. Although the former Czech international has been a little rusty as of late, particuarly when it comes to his near post, shipping two against Swansea last weekend, he earned his wages this time.
Cech also made three claims, snuffing out any danger.
It was far from an easy ride as, although Cech was brilliant, Boro were also unlucky not to score through Negredo and Traore, who terrorised our defense for most of the match, bar the first 20 minutes in which Arsenal actually looked decent.
Having calm, experienced players like Cech in the squad is huge. It takes away a little bit of the anxiety and allows us to play our football. However, that doesn’t mean that we can automatically win without other key players.
Arsenal were missing Santi Cazorla (ankle) and Granit Xhaka (suspension) massively and even Cech making wonder saves against Boro’s finest wasn’t enough to fill the void in midfield.
Hopefully, however, the goalkeeper can take this clean sheet (his fourth so far this season) away with him and recognise how important he was to us earning a point, even if it wasn’t a win.
Cech has now started every single Premier League game this season and I don’t see that changing. Although David Ospina has been brilliant in the Champions League, Cech proved he’s still top dog at Arsenal against Boro.