Petr Cech believes Arsenal could have lost their Champions League encounter with Bayern Munich had it not been for two crucial saves he made when the tie was still goalless.
The experienced goalkeeper denied Thiago Alcantara early on at the Emirates Stadium on Tuesday, before preventing Robert Lewandowski from opening the scoring after the break.
Late goals from Olivier Giroud and Mesut Ozil then helped Arsenal to a vital victory, keeping alive the Gunners’ ambitions of progressing from the Champions League group stages.
The win prompted Cech, an off-season recruit from Chelsea in the summer, to state how delighted he was with his own contribution to the team’s success.
“I think there were two key moments,” Cech told Arsenal’s official website.
“Obviously if Thiago had scored early in the game then they would have had control of the game so it was a very important save at the start.
“And then I’m obviously glad I made the save against Lewandowski as in that moment we could have been 1-0 down, but instead in a few minutes we were 1-0 up and [that] basically decided the game.
“As much as it went up and down and there were chances and shots and it was very entertaining, it looked like one goal might decide it.
“We are glad that we were the team that scored the goal.”
The win over Bayern has boosted Arsenal’s hopes of making it to the knockout stages following defeats to Dinamo Zagreb and Olympiacos in their opening Group F matches.
However, Cech acknowledged they are still in a difficult situation, and stated Arsene Wenger’s side must look to climb off the bottom of Group F when they travel to face Bayern at Allianz Arena in November.
“Obviously we are back in the game but our position has not changed much as Olympiacos won their game and obviously they have the home advantage in the next leg so we still need more points,” he continued.
“We go to Munich knowing we can compete with them and we are positive another game awaits where we can get points.
“Obviously it will depend on how the game will go but it has been a great night and let’s see what will happen in the future.”
The Gunners are joint-bottom of the group with Dinamo follow Tuesday’s win, but now trail leaders Bayern and Olympiacos by only three points.