Cech: European lifeline gives Arsenal confidence to progress

Rob Conlon
Petr Cech: Goalkeeper missed previous game with Olympiacos

Petr Cech says Arsenal are buoyed by their Champions League lifeline and will head to Olympiacos confident they can get the required result.

Defeats in their opening two fixtures of the competition made qualification highly unlikely, however an impressive victory against Bayern Munich and the comprehensive 3-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb on Tuesday means the Gunners will progress if they win 2-0 in Greece, or by any scoreline in which they score three goals.

Arsenal have been beaten at Olympiacos three times since 2009 and lost 3-2 to the Greek side at the Emirates in September, although Cech expects the result to be different on December 8.

“Well, they were very efficient when they played here so we know if we create chances, play our game and put them under pressure, we have a chance to score our goals in the game and make the difference we need,” Cech said.

“So we can go in a confident mood because a few rounds ago we were almost out of the competition and now we have everything in our hands to progress. That is the situation, which is actually good for us.

“You don’t want to miss the play-off games. We need to make sure we go there and get the result no matter how and [get] in the draw for the last 16.”

Arsenal would have been knocked out of the Champions League had Olympiacos drawn at Bayern Munich.

However the German champions spared the London club’s ignominy – or at least delayed it – by winning 4-0.

“We are obviously delighted with the way we managed to win our game and with the fact Bayern Munich put in a strong performance and won their game. That is what we needed in today’s round,” the goalkeeper added.

“We did our bit, they did their bit and it is now a grand finale for us in the last game, and we are literally entering the play-off already. So we are going into a play-off situation and we know what we need to get so hopefully we will be ready for that.”