‘My dream is to retire with a trophy in my hands’

We produced a convincing second-leg performance to qualify for the quarter-final of the Europa League on Thursday night.

Two goals from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, plus Ainsley Maitland-Niles’ first at Emirates Stadium proved enough for us to navigate a tricky tie against Ligue 1 side Rennes.

After the game, Petr Cech spoke to - and here’s what he said.

on a big performance…

Yes, we were talking about it in the dressing room before the game. We said that if we were meant to go out, we’d go  out with a big performance. Sometimes you give a big performance, you do everything right, you are unlucky and you can go out. When you perform at the level we did today, you know that you have a chance to go through. As soon as the game started, you could see the way the team played and fought together. You know that you are giving yourselves a chance. We scored goals at important times and kept a clean sheet, which is what you need in a game like that.

on wiping out Rennes’ advantage after 15 minutes…

That’s very important, but this game was a tricky situation because at 2-0 up, you’re through, but they just need one goal. You know that you need the third goal regardless, and even then, if they score once, you’re going to extra-time. The 3-1 loss away put us in a very difficult situation, but we knew how to deal with that and we got what we deserved.

on him still being in with a chance of a trophy in his final season…

My dream goes on - my dream is to retire with a trophy in my hands. Today we gave ourselves the chance for me to finish like this. There’s a long way to go but with performances like that, we can compete. 

on Aubameyang and his mask…

I think he’s been talking about pulling it out at the right occasion. He could have got his hat-trick, so he probably won’t be happy for himself, but when you score two goals at a crucial time, this is what we need. 

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