‘The reception I got was brilliant’


It was a bittersweet return to Rennes for Petr Cech.

The goalkeeper spent two seasons with the Ligue 1 side before earning a move to the Premier League in 2004, and was given a warm reception by the home fans within Roazhon Park ahead of kick-off on Thursday.

But despite taking an early lead, we slipped to a 3-1 defeat in northwest France, leaving a sour taste in Cech’s mouth. Here’s what he told the media after the game:

on a bittersweet return…
Yeah it was a bittersweet return. The reception I got from the home fans was brilliant and obviously I appreciate it. We came here with the objective of winning the game and putting ourselves in a good position, and we’re leaving with a result that is not good. 

on how it felt to come back…
It’s been a pleasure for me to come back. I have great memories from the two seasons that I spent with Stade Rennais and I was very pleased with the draw when we got them. I have to say a big thank you to everybody for such a good reception, but the game was bitter for me because we wanted to have a positive result, we wanted to win and put ourselves in a good position before the second game. We couldn’t do so because losing 3-1 is not what we wanted.

on Rennes’ equaliser…
It was a great strike. The wall defended the free-kick but then the ball came back to me and he hit it so well. Sometimes you concede goals like that but we were still in the game. Then in the second half they had a one-man advantage and created some chances. In the end, the big goal was the own goal unfortunately for us. Regardless of that, we were still in the game. Then we conceded the third to make it a bit harder for ourselves.

on being outnumbered at the far post…
Sometimes you have to give credit to the opponent. It was a great cross and the attacking player was there first. It’s disappointing because it’s something we knew about and it’s cost us a better result. I think we can still be positive because we’ll play at home and we have experience of overcoming difficult games and difficult moments. I believe that we can win the tie at home. It’ll be more difficult now because they have a very good counter-attacking team with a lot of speed, and now they can play on the counter at the Emirates. I think we have enough quality and experience in the team to overcome them.

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