Football

Petr Cech proved he's still world class against Everton

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Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho fought tooth and nail to persuade Petr Cech that he should stay at Stamford Bridge for at least one more season, tonight against Everton we saw why the Czech goalkeeper was so important to his fight for trophies on multiple fronts this year.

Cech started only his fourth Premier League game of the campaign against the Toffees, with the 32-year-old forced to accept that Thibaut Courtois is Mourinho's number one when it really matters most.

That didn't stop a living Chelsea legend proving he would still walk into 90% of Europe's top sides with one moment of genuine quality this evening, using a combination of astute positioning and rapid reflexes to stop Romelu Lukaku breaking the deadlock from point-blank range.

Save may prove to be very important

Cech is actually yet to concede a goal in the Premier League this season, which even with limited game time is an impressive statistic.

On tonight's evidence its easy to see why, with his save from Lukaku one of those rare occasions where a centre-forward can't be blamed for failing to find the back of the net with the goal at his mercy.

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Willian's winner made Chelsea look like champions

That 68th minute intervention looked all the more decisive once the final whistle had been blown, with Willian's late winner keeping Chelsea seven points clear of nearest rivals Manchester City in a title race that still looks Mourinho's to lose at this stage.

Chelsea were far from their brilliant best but produced a victory which ticked the box of that well-worn cliche, winning ugly is the stuff of champions.

Over the course of a long campaign sometime individual moments are picked out as important superfluously, but as the story of the season don't be surprised if Cech's save and Chelsea's dogged win this evening proves to be absolutely vital.

Cech will surely leave this summer

Mourinho has to be credited with strong powers of persuasion when it comes to Cech, who bought into the idea that he deserved to finish a decade of dominance in West London with the winner's medals that this tremendous Chelsea squad is capable of delivering.

Cech has too much quality to be a regular on the bench beyond this season, Mourinho surely knows that, but he's well on course to leave Bridge in a manner of befitting of a very loyal servant to the club.

He also deserves huge praise for the way he's kept quiet, worked hard and continue to fight for first-team football over the last six months, because there are few modern-day players with his ability that wouldn't have voiced their displeasure at being a bench warmer this far into the season.

Arsenal and Liverpool should look at Cech's performance tonight and realise he's a significant improvement on their current options in between the sticks, because Mourinho is clearly acutely aware of that fact and counting his lucky stars that two of the world's top 10 goalkeepers are leading his quest for a treble trophy haul.

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Topics:
Football
Premier League
Petr Cech
Chelsea

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