Petr Cech becomes Premier League all-time best goalkeeper

Petr Cech

After picking the ball out of his net several times in a 4-0 drubbing at Southampton two days earlier, Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech celebrated a record on Monday by keeping his 170th Premier League clean sheet.

The Czech Republic stopper surpassed the 169 blanks set by former England international David James as Arsenal beat Bournemouth 2-0 to go top of the table.

Cech joined the club in the close season following a trophy-laden career across London at Chelsea and his performances have helped Arsene Wenger’s side climb to the summit.

And the 33-year-old achieved this feat with 162 of those games coming while at Chelsea and eight at the Emirates.

Mark Schwarzer, David Seaman, Nigel Martyn, Pepe Reina and Edwin van der Sar all came close but failed to break James’ record.

The goalie also holds the record of most clean sheets kept in a single season during the 2004/05 season while at Stamford Bridge.

Cech also became the first goalkeeper to keep 10 consecutive clean sheets since van der Sar eclipsed this when he went 14 games without conceding in 2008-09 for United.

Wenger hailed his summer import who he says has shown consistency, commitment and quality all through his career.

“I think he can be very proud of that because it is a remarkable achievement and people once again don’t realise how much commitment is behind that, the focus and consistency in his attitude,” Wenger told reporters.

“On top of that he is a remarkably gifted goalkeeper. The consistency is the most difficult to achieve.

“He can be very proud of that as it is a remarkable achievement,” the boss said.

Reflecting on the record, Cech told Arsenal Player: “It is not every day you break the record of the best league in the world. I must say at the end of the game I was proud.

“I was really pleased we won the game as well because after the game we had at Southampton we had to bounce back in style.

“Overall we had a good performance and near the end, in the last five or 10 minutes, I started to check the clock as you start to think, ‘OK, that is the game and you need to see it through and not concede’ and we did well not to.

“We concentrated until the last second because even if you concede in the last three minutes then there is added time then it can be a very long five minutes.

“There can be a mistake and then you can lose the game and you need to concentrate from the start to the finish.

“It cannot be easy sometimes when you are in control and you are 2-0 up and the opposition is pushing for that goal.

“You have to make sure you are professional, organised and do the right things and we knew how to do it.”