Emery picks out Arsenal star for special praise after Everton win

Granit Xhaka; Petr Cech TEAMtalk

Unai Emery admits he has been surprised by the criticism aimed at Petr Cech in recent weeks as the Arsenal goalkeeper put in a man of the match performance in Sunday’s Premier League win over Everton.

Second-half strikes from Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were enough for the Gunners to secure a 2-0 victory, their fourth in a row in the league.

Everton will feel hard done by to leave the Emirates Stadium with nothing to show for a decent performance – and not only because Aubameyang’s goal came from an offside position.

The visitors dominated the first half, with Cech forced to make a number of decent stops to keep out the likes of Dominic Calvert-Lewin, Lucas Digne and Richarlison – who looked sharp on his return from suspension.

Cech, 36, has captained Arsenal in all of their Premier League games since Emery took charge but has not been without his critics as he adapts to playing the ball out from the back.

He has kept summer signing Bernd Leno on the bench – except for Thursday’s Europa League win over Vorskla Poltava – and Emery is pleased with his goalkeeping options.

“I’m a little surprised because there have been a lot of questions over Cech,” Emery said after the win.

“In pre-season and also in the first (league) matches with us, he’s played with good performances. Bernd Leno will also improve with us and learn about this competition here.

“Petr has big experience and big quality. He’s started the season very well and we think he’s giving us the performance we want. Today he showed us that he’s very good and continuing to work hard with this spirit every day.”


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