Sunday 30 April 2017

Petr Cech: Every goal counts in Premier League title race

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech

Goalkeeper Petr Cech welcomed Arsenal's 4-0 win at Swansea by insisting every goal could count in the chase for Premier League glory.

Arsenal ruined Paul Clement's first league game in charge of Swansea as a first-half struggle turned into a second-half stroll.

Olivier Giroud put Arsenal ahead at the end of an even first period, the in-form France striker turning an ankle in the process which later forced him to limp off.

Own goals from J ack Cork and Kyle Naughton - both deflections from Alex Iwobi shots - and an Alexis Sanchez volley saw Arsenal coast home, and goalkeeper Cech felt the most pleasing aspect of the victory was the way Arsenal pressed for more goals after going 2-0 ahead.

"Every time you can score more goals you should try to do so," Cech said.

"That is because every goal will be important when you see how tight it is in the top five places.

"Every goal might count so we try to make sure, when we can, to continue to search for more goals.

"And we wanted to make sure that at 3-0 and 4-0 we didn't concede."

Sanchez showed his frustration after being substituted 11 minutes from time with Arsenal 4-0 ahead.

The Chilean kicked one of his gloves away as he made it to the dug-out, with England striker Danny Welbeck given his first taste of league action since last May following a knee cartilage problem.

But Cech was more focused on Arsenal ending their away day blues after defeats at Everton and Manchester City, and a draw at Bournemouth, in the Gunners' last three games on the road.

"Our away form was brilliant at the start of the season - or most of the time," Cech said.

"We had a loss at Everton and suddenly we had another two games where we dropped points. But we gave the right answer here that it doesn't matter.

"You have to carry on, get ready and there are a lot of games to be played.

"We have to play everybody who is around us, so we can take points from them. So we are in a good position."

This was another sobering afternoon for a Swansea side who dropped to bottom spot after Clement was introduced to the Liberty Stadium crowd for the first time.

Swansea have conceded at least three goals in seven of their last nine games, and the league's worst defence has now yielded 49 in 21 games.

But Clement - Swansea's third manager of the season - took encouragement from a display which had hinted at better before Giroud struck for the fifth consecutive game.

"There's definitely stuff to build on," Clement said.

"But I was most disappointed with our offensive play, we didn't show any real quality in the attacking third.

"Deflected goal for the second goal, deflected goal for the third goal and then it's very difficult to come back from that position against a quality side like Arsenal.

"This is a team over recent weeks which has had some crushing defeats, goals have gone in and the players are all human beings.

"Confidence can be affected and my job is to try and get them as well prepared as possible."

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