Cech’s blushes spared on Chelsea return by brilliant comeback


fter mere minutes on Monday night, it looked as if Chelsea‘s popular and perhaps canny decision to bring Petr Cech out of retirement had been proved an utter calamity.

The expectations placed on top-flight goalkeepers have come a fair way since Cech last put on a Chelsea shirt in 2015.

Cech may have been working and training with the Blues’ goalkeepers this season, but he’s not picked up much from them when it comes to footwork.

The 38-year-old’s first touch at Kingsmeadow, inside two minutes, saw him try to play out from the back and pick out defender Dynel Simeu, only to send the ball out for a corner from which Tottenham opened the scoring.

A second was shipped inside 18 minutes, though there was little Cech could have done to stop Dane Scarlett’s header from a brilliant Harvey White ball over the top.

From there touches were few and far between. Tottenham, content with their lead, left Cech with little to do until early in the second half, when the former Arsenal man raced from his line to claim a cross before slaloming through some Spurs shirts and getting Chelsea going again with a quick kick forward.


Cech had to restore the peace after a second-half brawl that saw two players sent off

/ Getty Images )

Two quick-fire second-half goals brought Chelsea level just after the hour mark and Cech’s confidence was growing, too. There was some far more assured passing at the back than the early blip, though Spurs still offered little to test the four-time Premier League winner and question just how sharp he has kept himself.

Cech’s experience was called on to calm some tempers with 15 minutes to go as a mass brawl was sparked, not by a youngster but by another former title winner in Drinkwater, sent off after kicking out at Spurs’ Alfie Devine, who was also dismissed.

It was a shame not to see Cech given any shots to deal with after his early mistake, but there were a few flashes – long throws and kicks to get the counter-attacks going quickly – to show that this veteran can still handle himself. 

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