Petr Cech says his teammates are helping him chase his dream of winning one final trophy as Arsenal took a big step towards the Europa League final with a 3-1 semi-final first leg win over Valencia at the Emirates.
Barring an injury to Bernd Leno in the coming days, last night’s victory was probably the 36-year-old’s keeper’s last competitive match at the Emirates and he was glad to sign off with a ‘brilliant’ team performance.
“We didn’t start well, they started better than us with more confidence and aggression,” Cech told Arsenal.com.
“They created some chances and scored the goal, but after that, we came back into the game. The performance was brilliant from then on and we scored two goals [in the first half].
“In the second half, we tried to score the third one. The aim was not to concede another one – and we managed to do both tasks.”
Looking ahead to next Thursday, he added: “When you are chasing your dreams, you need to show courage at home or away. That’s how you win European trophies.
“We are aware that the game is going to be difficult, even more so than here, because they have nothing to lose and have to chase the result. Hopefully we will take it as an advantage.
“This was my last-ever home game in European competitions, so it’s a bit of a strange feeling for me. I wanted to win and get into a position to live my dream of lifting the trophy in my last game. That is still alive and thanks to my team-mates, we are in a good position.”
In total, Cech has played 138 games in European competitions during his career (111 in the Champions League, 21 in the Europa League, 2 in the Super Cup, 4 in the Intertoto Cup) picking up a couple of titles along the way. He’s had a stunning career.
It really would be fantastic to see him pick up one last trophy, particularly as it would make people who like Chelsea sad.