Chelsea Goalkeeper Petr Cech Playing Risky Strategy With Liverpool Mind Games

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Chelsea Goalkeeper Petr Cech Playing Risky Strategy With Liverpool Mind Games
Rui Vieira

With four games remaining, the Premier League title race is heating up.

This weekend saw Liverpool take a significant step to a first league success in 24 years, defeating Manchester City 3-2 at Anfield, while Chelsea restored their credentials with a victory over Swansea City.

The action was played out among the backdrop of furore created by Manuel Pellegrini—the City boss claiming it will be a disappointment for all football fans should Chelsea emerge victorious in the race for top spot, per ESPN.co.uk.

Will Petr Cech live to regret his Liverpool taunt?

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Never one to involve himself in the media hyperbole, Petr Cech has surprisingly broken rank with some comments of his own.

"No one expected anything from Liverpool [this season] and they’re in contention—that’s why they’ve played without pressure so far," the Chelsea keeper explained this week, per The Mirror.

“But let’s see how they’re going to cope when it comes to the last hurdle. They will have to jump it."

Despite games remaining against Norwich City, Newcastle United and Crystal Palace, it's Liverpool's clash with Chelsea on Apr. 27 that is the hurdle Cech makes reference to.

The Blues themselves must face Sunderland, Norwich and Cardiff City in their run-in—three teams currently locked in a relegation scrap.

All things considered, it means the winner of that Anfield game will surely be crowned champions.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

With all that's passed between these two clubs in recent times—especially at Anfield—questioning Liverpool's mettle is a bold move from Cech.

Chelsea fans will no doubt point to goalline technology as his reason for appearing so confident. The Blues were knocked out of the Champions League in 2005 by a Luis Garcia goal that is still debated today—was it over the line or not—meaning there can be little room for controversy elsewhere this time out.

In contrast, supporters of Liverpool will cite their club's momentum and 10 Premier League wins on the bounce as reasons for Cech appearing foolish in jumping the gun.

Has he fanned the flames or helped sow the seed of doubt that will have Brendan Rodgers' squad questioning their ability to finish off the job?

ALASTAIR GRANT

The time for mind games and jesting through the media will come in due course but not right now.

Jose Mourinho has avoided the press in recent days for a host of reasons and on the back of Chelsea's 1-0 victory against Swansea, you can bet he didn't want to be drawn on making comment about Liverpool.

Not just yet.

Mourinho is as calculated as they come. He knows when to strike; more importantly he knows his players have hurdles they must jump themselves before visiting Anfield.

The first of those is Sunderland this weekend, while they must negotiate a midweek trip to Spain where they face Atletico Madrid in the Champions League semi-finals.

Unlike his opposite number at Manchester City, Mourinho isn't one for setting himself up for a fall. Cech should follow his manager's lead.

There has been excitement and shock throughout 2013-14 for every Premier League club and Chelsea have suffered their fair share.

In two weeks they may have taken one tumble too many to even have a shout at Anfield and if that proves the case, Cech will regret his Liverpool taunt.

Leave the talking to the professionals, Petr.

 

Garry Hayes is Bleacher Report's lead Chelsea correspondent and will be following the club from a London base throughout the 2013-14 season. Follow him on Twitter here @garryhayes

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