Belfast Telegraph

Cahill delighted with dour draw

Gary Cahill has hailed Chelsea's display in their bore draw at Arsenal as the ideal dress rehearsal for Tuesday's do-or-die Champions League trip to Barcelona.

Cahill, John Terry and Petr Cech once again proved impassable as the Blues kept a clean sheet in Saturday's Barclays Premier League game. Less than three days after denying Lionel Messi and his Barca team-mates a goal in Wednesday's semi-final first leg win, Cahill helped manage to thwart one of the world's other great forwards in Robin van Persie.

The defender said: "It was great practice, coming up against the likes of Robin van Persie, who's in form this season, and is one of the best forwards in the world at the minute. It doesn't get any harder, does it, this week, facing the likes of Messi and then Van Persie and then back to Messi and the boys?"

He added: "So to keep two clean sheets in the two games we've just played is pleasing for us as a whole team."

Keeping clean sheets is something Chelsea have been accustomed to again since Cahill and Terry finally translated the partnership forged with England to club level.

The pair have conceded just one goal in the five matches they have started together and have yet to lose in any of the eight games in which both have played a part.

It is the kind of solidity Chelsea have arguably lacked since selling Ricardo Carvalho.

However, the biggest test of that will come at the Nou Camp.

Cahill said: "I think we require similar to the home leg: a little element of luck; defensively as a whole unit everyone sticking to their task; and the concentration level.

"The other night, I think physically I've run more in games, but the concentration level had to be unbelievably high and that's what all the lads did. So we need that again."

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