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Arsenal relishing pressure of Europa League final – Petr Cech

Arsenal goalkeeper Cech is set for battle in Baku against his former club.

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech will bring the curtain down on his illustrious career this summer (Nick Potts/PA)
Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech will bring the curtain down on his illustrious career this summer (Nick Potts/PA)

Petr Cech believes that Arsenal are ready to relish the high stakes in Wednesday’s Europa League final against his former club Chelsea.

The Arsenal goalkeeper will bring the curtain down on his illustrious career this summer.

The Gunners must beat Chelsea in Baku to qualify for next season’s Champions League, which ramps up the pressure on Cech and company.

“It will sound strange, but I think generally at Arsenal there is not enough pressure,” Cech told Standard Sport.

“(Former Arsenal manager) Arsene (Wenger) is a real gentleman. As much as he hates losing, he stays a gentleman.

“If you lose, you win, you lose, you win, he kind of carries on. That’s something I’ve never experienced before.

“At Chelsea, at the times when we drew, it felt like a funeral in the dressing room. It was so bad.

“If we drew against a big team at home, it was like, ‘Oh no, it is impossible we didn’t win at home’.

“It came from everywhere: the players, the coach. Since the start when I was there, the pressure was there every game.

“I feel that when Arsenal need to win, we win.

“You go to Athens in the last Champions League group game (of 2015) needing to win 2-0, and you win 3-0.

“No matter where, we win, because that fire was right behind us as we had to really win. The pressure was what was pushing us.

“We went to Napoli (in the Europa League quarter-finals) and everybody says ‘Oh, you are rubbish away, they are brilliant at home’. We win 2-0, and then you go, ‘How do you explain that?’.

“If you are under pressure and you can’t perform, you lose that game. But we didn’t, because the pressure was so high. You know you lose, you are out.”

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