Arsene Wenger has claimed Petr Cech had a massive hand in helping the Gunners win their second successive Community Shield, stating that he may have unnerved the Chelsea players.
Arsenal lifted their first piece of silverware this season after beating the Blues 1-0 at Wembley, courtesy of a fine Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain strike, ending a hoodoo Wenger has faced with Jose Mourinho for a number of years.
The occasion also marked the debut of Cech, who moved to the Emirates Stadium after a controversial transfer from Stamford Bridge earlier this summer.
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The 33-year-old kept a clean sheet at the weekend that gifted the Gunners a long-awaited victory over their west London rivals, and Wenger has said he believes the Czech international’s presence might have been a big factor.
"He did well. Maybe he had an influence on the Chelsea players as well because they felt that to score against him they had to score the perfect goal," Wenger said post-match, as per Arsenal's official website.
"When you have that sometimes you want to try too hard.
"It happened especially with Eden Hazard when he had that chance in the box.
Indeed there was plenty of opinion cast over Cech’s move to Arsenal, with many people wondering why Chelsea had allowed the deal to go through.
It was well publicised that Mourinho was keen to push Cech towards another side, as he was wary about strengthening a potential title rival, but Roman Abramovich had the final say and allowed the veteran stopper to move to Arsenal as a reward for his years of service at the Bridge.
As a result the Gunners were left rubbing their hands, having finally got hold of what many deemed to be the missing link in Wenger’s fold.
Neither Wojciech Szczesny or David Ospina looked overly confident as number one last term, and the addition of a world-class goalkeeper will certainly strengthen Arsenal’s resolve.
Of course it appears it has already, with the Gunners able to shut out last season’s Premier League title winners on their way to the Community Shield. There’s plenty of time for Mourinho to remedy matters later in the season, but Wenger will be delighted to have drawn first blood.
Arsenal fans, Chelsea fans, do you agree that Cech unnerved Blues players? Let us know in the comments box below.