Belfast Telegraph

Arsenal have blown it, says Chelsea star Cech

Petr Cech has claimed Chelsea are now Manchester United's main Barclays Premier League title rivals because Arsenal have blown too many chances to catch them.

Cech helped the champions beat Birmingham 3-1 at Stamford Bridge, while the Gunners squandered yet another two-goal lead to draw the north London derby 3-3 at White Hart Lane.

Those results saw Chelsea edge above Arsenal into second place on goal difference and close to within six points of United.

Carlo Ancelotti's men are the form team in the Premier League, winning five and drawing one of their last six games, with Arsene Wenger's side drawing five and winning just one over the same period.

Chelsea also trump Arsenal in terms of title-winning experience, having won the league three times since the Gunners were last crowned champions seven years ago.

Blues goalkeeper Cech understandably questioned whether Wenger's men have what is takes to pounce on any United's slip-ups.

“Arsenal had a big game against Tottenham,” he said.

“They were 3-1 up and threw it away. Now they are third for the first time in a long time so let's see how they cope with this new situation. They had plenty of chances this season to close the gap and haven't taken them yet.”

Cech (pictured) has no doubt about Chelsea's credentials to take advantage of any United meltdown during the final month of the season.

The champions have rediscovered the sort of form that saw them threaten to run away with the title back in October.

United are still heavy favourites to get over the line but, with Arsenal and Chelsea still to play, the London rivals could yet conspire to produce one of the great championship comebacks.

Cech said: “We've been saying for a long time we want to keep winning and maintain the pressure on everybody.

“Arsenal have difficult games and United have to play us and Arsenal so there could possibly be six points (dropped by them). We have two games at home against West Ham and Spurs to come and, if we win both, the situation could change again.

“Chelsea were one of the worst (teams in the form guide) a few months ago and now we're getting back to normal.”

Cech believes Chelsea's European exit to United could even give them the edge during the Premier League run-in.

“They have to play a semi-final, so let's see how they cope,” he said.

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