Cech praises top Drog
Petr Cech praised Didier Drogba after his double propelled Chelsea into the last 16 of the Champions League.
By Vasek Kadlec
Last Updated: 07/12/11 1:29pm
Petr Cech heaped praise on Didier Drogba after his double propelled Chelsea into the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League on Tuesday night.
Drogba rediscovered his finishing touch at Stamford Bridge as goals in either half inspired the Blues to a 3-0 win over Los Che, a victory which resulted in Andre Villas-Boas' men finishing as Group E winners.
And Cech, who has now kept three clean sheets in his last four matches, reserved special praise for his Ivorian team-mate, who was a constant threat to the Valencia defence throughout the match.
He told his official website: "He showed how important he is for us. The main thing he can help with is scoring goals. If Didier plays or if (Fernando) Torres comes on the pitch then, we have two world-class strikers in both.
"In a lot of previous matches we failed to convert many opportunities and that cost us points.
"It backfired on us in the Genk and Leverkusen games. In this one we scored early and knew that then all we had to do was defend carefully and wait for counter attacks. We managed it well."
With the Blues 1-0 up but under increasing pressure from their Spanish opponents, Cech pulled off a stunning one-handed save to deny David Albelda in the first half.
And the Czech Republic international admitted that was his most important contribution to the match.
"Probably the save against the long-range shot from Albelda in the first half (was my best). Players were standing there and the ball flew just above Terry's head, so I didn't see it properly. I only just managed to get to the ball."
Chelsea went into the game knowing anything other than a victory would see them eliminated from the competition.
However Cech claimed that the thought of an early exit never entered the players' minds.
"Nobody was thinking that a club as big as Chelsea with such a high-quality squad should miss out. It would have been a sensation," he added.
"We believed in our skills and the team worked as one man. In the end we are top of the group which was our initial aim."