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Season Review: Petr Cech

Being a goalkeeper has to be one of the most thankless jobs ever. When things are going well, they are never given any credit. But when things are going badly, they are always the first to be blamed.

That certainly seemed to be the case with Petr Cech in the beginning of the 2011-12 season. He started the season well enough, keeping a clean-sheet in the opening league fixture against Stoke. However, he went through a period of constant struggle after that as he struggled to keep a clean-sheet, with the Chelsea defence guilty of leaking goals even in comprehensive victories. Admittedly, Cech’s worst performance of the season was the 3-5 loss at home against Arsenal, where his positioning & composure seemed suspect. Many people (including Chelsea fans) began raising questions over Cech’s ability, some going as far as suggesting that he wasn’t good enough to play for Chelsea anymore.

But as the old saying goes, “Form is temporary, class is permanent”. And Cech proved that with some impressive performances in crunch matches for Chelsea, notably against Barcelona. In the Champions League semi-final matches against the Catalans, Cech was called into action on more than one occasion & he made save after save to ensure that we kept Barca at bay.

He was also impressive in the FA Cup final, his most notable save of the match coming when he managed to divert a powerful header from Andy Carroll onto the bar (pictured here) to ensure Chelsea hung on to their slender 2-1 lead. But the best of Petr Cech was yet to come.

Arguably Cech’s performance of the season was in the Champions League final against Bayern Munich. Even though he couldn’t keep out Thomas Muller’s effort that initially gave Bayern the lead, his save from Arjen Robben’s penalty in extra-time ensured that we were able to take the game to penalties. During the penalty shoot-out, Cech made 2 consecutive saves that were instrumental in helping us win the Champions League. Big Petr managed to silenced any critics who felt he was past his prime. 


Cech with the Champions League trophy

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