After an error-strewn league debut for Arsenal by Petr Cech provided a timely reminder of his undoubted class with some stunning saves as he marshaled a nervous Arsenal to a goalless draw against Liverpool on Monday.
Petr Cech, who arrived from Chelsea during the close-season, was at fault for both goals as Arsenal succumbed to a surprise 2-0 opening-day defeat at home to West Ham United before being breached again against Crystal Palace last week.
Against a Liverpool side who had won both of their opening games, Cech turned in a performance typical of a player who had become one of the most respected goalkeepers during 11 trophy-laden seasons at Stamford Bridge.
“When you start your first game with a new club and everything goes wrong for you individually you need to go back to work and bounce back and this is what I tried to do,” man-of-the-match Cech told Sky Sports.
“I was in the right place at the right time and I helped the team overcome difficult moments in the first half. It’s hard to believe after all the chances it finished 0-0.”
While his general leadership helped to marshal a nervous, error-strewn Arsenal defence — without experienced duo Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny — two particular saves stood out.
First, the 33-year-old produced a sublime instinctive stop to deny Christian Benteke from point-blank range then he acrobatically tipped Philippe Coutinho’s curling goal-bound shot onto the post.
“With Christian Benteke’s effort Gabriel (Paulista) tried to intercept the ball just in front of me so I had to wait for that moment and you cannot go ahead,” Cech said.
“Obviously once it got past him I knew I had to be there fast and I got there and closed him down quick enough. The shot from Coutinho, I saw the ball all the way and I managed to get there.
“Today was a particularly difficult situation because both central defenders couldn’t play. Laurent and Per couldn’t be here and it was a big game so there was a bit of pressure on Gabriel and Calum (Chambers).
“Here, I need to make sure I communicate more and make sure everyone is in the right place at the right time.”