Petr Cech, Back To His Best Form For Chelsea
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In all competitions this season, Chelsea have scored 35 goals in 13 games.
Whilst the attack has been rightly taking all the plaudits, what is being less well-documented is the meanest defence in the premier league.
Of the seven goals conceded, goalkeeper Petr Cech has been between the sticks for just three of them.
If we break it down further, the two conceded in the Premier League came from a wonder strike from West Ham's Scott Parker and a superb strike from Manchester City's Carlos Tevez.
The goal conceded against MSK Zilina in the Champions League did admittedly come from a Cech error but these instances are very rare.
To understand why Cech has been so dominant in the Chelsea goal this season, it is important to first understand the role a goalkeeper plays in a team.
The goalkeeper is the last line of defence. When the midfield and defence have been breached, one final obstacle lies between the attacker and the goal.
This is where Cech and Chelsea in general have really excelled so far this season. Breaking through the defence has proved a real challenge to sides this season, and getting it past the last guardian in Petr Cech is an even harder one.
In Chelsea's last few games however, the defence has not been so strong (perhaps understandably with the constant reshuffling of the side) but Cech has remained impervious.
In Chelsea's last two games against Spartak Moscow and Wolverhampton Wanderers, Cech has arguably been the difference between a Chelsea win or a draw. Or even worse, defeat.
When Cech first signed for his Chelsea, in his first two seasons, it was widely accepted he was the best goalkeeper in the Premier League, if not the world.
Then in 2006, Cech received a horrific injury at the hands of Reading striker Stephen Hunt. It was feared he would never play again.
Cech did return however, five months later against Liverpool wearing his now trademark head protector.
It was felt by some however that Cech had lost his edge. He was now less imposing and more vulnerable than he had been before the injury.
Not that anyone was claiming he was now a bad player, but rather that he wasn't the great player he had been.
This season though, he appears to be back to his brilliant best.
Recently named Czech Republic player of the year, it's very hard to see a way past him right now. His command of the defence has been total, and he seems equal to anything thrown at him.
It seems that to score a goal past him, you have to rely on Cech himself giving it away.
Or more likely, a wonder goal.
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