Petr Cech says he’s dreaming of one last piece of silverware before he retires as Arsenal kept their European ambitions alive with a swashbuckling comeback against Rennes.
The 36-year-old kept his fourth European clean sheet of the season as the Gunners beat his former club 3-0 at the Emirates to progress 4-3 on aggregate; a result that secures their place in Friday’s quarter-final draw.
Assuming Unai Emery retains his current keeper pecking order for the rest of the season, Cech may have, at most, five games left as a professional, the last of which could be the Europa League final in Baku.
Speaking after this evening’s victory, Cech told Arsenal.com: “My dream goes on – my dream is to retire with a trophy in my hands.
“Today we gave ourselves the chance for me to finish like this. There’s a long way to go but with performances like that, we can compete.
“We were talking about it [a big performance] in the dressing room before the game. We said that if we were meant to go out, we’d go out with a big performance.
“Sometimes you give a big performance, you do everything right, you are unlucky and you can go out.
“When you perform at the level we did today, you know that you have a chance to go through.
“As soon as the game started, you could see the way the team played and fought together. You know that you are giving yourselves a chance.
“We scored goals at important times and kept a clean sheet, which is what you need in a game like that.”
If the Gunners are to go all the way, they could face another of Cech’s former clubs, Chelsea, along the way. Olivier Giroud scored a hat-trick as the Blues beat Dinamo Kiev 8-0 on aggregate to secure their place in the quarter-finals.
The other teams in the pot tomorrow are Napoli, Slavia Prague, Villarreal, Valencia Frankfurt and Benfica.