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Pundit’s Choice: Petr Cech

Pundit’s Choice: Petr Cech

Arsenal supporters have been in fine voice in recent times after seeing their side record a fifth straight win in all competitions at the weekend.

Unai Emery’s men went into their clash with Everton having won each of their last three Premier League matches, and having got past Ukrainian outfit Vorskla Poltava 4-2 in their opening Europa League group stage match on Thursday night. And the Gunners made it five wins in a row on Sunday as goals from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed a 2-0 success for the North London giants, in turn moving them up to sixth place in the Premier League table.

As such, there have been many thrilled Arsenal fans up and down the country in recent times, several of whom are likely to be intrigued by recent comments from Sky Sports pundit Graeme Souness, who has raved about goalkeeper Petr Cech regarding his efforts on Sunday.

And the 65-year-old’s glowing praise for the Gunners ace, in which he stated that ‘he’s up there with the very best still’, is absolutely justified, as the former Czech Republic international played as big a part as anyone in their victory over the Toffees to further emphasise just how good a goalkeeper he remains.

Ultimately, the arrival of Bernd Leno from Bayer Leverkusen during the summer would have likely set alarm bells ringing for 36-year-old Cech, who has been in relatively indifferent form in the last few years, to the point that some were expecting Leno’s addition to bring about the end of Cech’s Premier League career.

And while that still might be the case in years to come, the ex-Chelsea shot-stopper looks set to stay for a while yet after another impressive display between the sticks on Sunday, as although a 2-0 scoreline looks comfortable for the Gunners, it was anything but.

The 36-year-old made six saves over the course of the 90 minutes to keep Emery’s side in the game, with saves from former Arsenal star Theo Walcott as well as Richarlison in the first half, as well as from a Michael Keane header in the second period, crucial in terms of keeping parity or indeed keeping the Gunners’ two-goal lead intact.

The save he made to deny Walcott, in coming out to meet the on-rushing winger eight years out from his goal, was indicative of a goalkeeper who has restored confidence in his shot-stopping ability, at the same time underlining that his anticipation was there to prevent Walcott getting a shot off.

Significantly, there were also instances whereby Cech looked slightly more assured with the ball at his feet, thus suggesting that he is growing more comfortable in playing the way Emery wants him to play, at the same time retaining his outstanding shot-stopping ability.

And in claiming two crosses and punching one away, the 36-year-old showed great command of his penalty area to take some of the pressure off an ultimately vulnerable Gunners backline – clearly, he won them the points on Sunday, and that is what the best goalkeepers do.

And such was the part he played in helping Arsenal to a fourth straight league win, alongside his efforts in the games prior to Sunday’s, Souness was right to gush over the efforts of the Gunners goalkeeper.

Arsenal fans… what do you think? Let us know!

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Article title: Pundit’s Choice: Petr Cech

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