Cech praises big-money duo
Petr Cech leapt to the defence of Fernando Torres and lavished praise on David Luiz after his new Chelsea team-mates' contrasting nights in the goalless west London derby at Fulham.
Goalkeeper Cech looked on as Torres endured another game to forget in his second appearance for the Blues since his record-breaking £50million move from Liverpool. And the Czech Republic star had the ideal vantage point from which to witness an outstanding full debut at centre-half from £25million fellow deadline day signing Luiz.
On Torres, Cech told his club's official website: "I think he made very good movements throughout the 60 or 70 minutes he was on the pitch and he found quite quickly the understanding with everybody. It wasn't to be to score a goal but it looks very promising."
Unlike Torres, Luiz seemingly could do no wrong on Monday night - until he conceded a soft stoppage-time penalty which Cech saved.
Cech described the 23-year-old defender as "brilliant", adding: "It just shows why Chelsea bought him because he really is a great addition to the squad."
Luiz's inexperience did tell during the penalty incident, however, the Brazil star giving Mike Dean a decision to make with a clumsy challenge on Clint Dempsey. Cech came to the rescue by correctly diving to his right and beating out Dempsey's shot, and he revealed afterwards he had anticipated which way the American would shoot.
"The way he went to the ball, I sensed he could choose the easy option, which is to go harder and across, so that's why I chose to go there," said Cech, who had no complaints over the penalty award.
The result left Chelsea marooned outside the top four, two points behind Tottenham and 12 adrift of leaders Manchester United with just 12 games remaining, all but signalling the end of their Premier League defence.
But Cech insisted the champions would not concede defeat in the title race until it was impossible to close the gap.
"Obviously, we are quite far now because they won their games and we dropped points but there is still a way to go and we will fight to the end," he said.