Without Petr Cech between the sticks, it is likely Arsenal would have come away from Stoke City's Britannia Stadium with the familiar taste of defeat in their mouths.
The Staffordshire arena has become something of a bogey ground for Arsene Wenger in recent years and, once again, the Potters looked determined to put a dent in their title challenge.
Mark Hughes' men did everything right, carving out chance after chance, but Cech thwarted them each and every time, earning a man of the match award in the process and, more importantly, a crucial point for his team.
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But although Arsenal were lucky to escape with a 0-0 draw, the players were expecting better from themselves. Having seen Leicester City draw on Saturday, they had a great chance to go two points clear at the top of the Premier League table.
They missed that chance, making it their second consecutive draw after their 3-3 encounter with Liverpool last week. Needless to say, the mood in the away dressing room was grim following the final whistle.
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But Theo Walcott, who himself came in for a bit of criticism from Arsenal fans for his performance, says Cech's positive influence on proceedings continued off the field.
"He's a leader in that dressing room," Walcott said of Cech, according to the Mirror.
"He's lifted everybody's heads in that dressing room at Stoke, saying this is a very good point, no-one tends to win here.
"We've just got to look at him because he's obviously been at the top level and won many things. We all have the belief he's got that we can push on. The mental strength in this dressing room's the strongest it's ever been.
"When you have the likes of Petr Cech come into the dressing room as well, he just enhances that."
Player of the year
Should Arsenal win the Premier League this season, then Cech's influence on the squad both on and off the pitch will become the stuff of legend amongst fans. Indeed, some pundits are already tipping him as a dark horse for the PFA Player of the Year award while at the very least a nomination is coming his way.
Is Petr Cech your Arsenal Player of the Year so far? Give us your thoughts in the comment box below!
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