Interview

'We had to stay strong in our minds'

At 2-0 down to CSKA Moscow on Thursday night, it looked like we could be the next victims of a shock result in Europe following an amazing few days of results.

But Danny Welbeck's well-taken goal, followed by Aaron Ramsey's injury-time equaliser booked our place in the semi-finals, and afterwards Petr Cech was a happy man.

This is what he told Arsenal Media:

on the performance...
We started slowly and then even though we had some good counter-attacks in the first half, we didn't create much to score the goal and then obviously they scored late in the first half. The last 10 minutes of the first half we spent in our own box because we gave them a lot of motivation and hope to have something for the second half. We knew it would be difficult and when they scored the second goal in the second half we knew it would be very close, and we had to make sure we didn't concede another. We were waiting for opportunities, and we scored one which was disallowed and then finally we got the [Welbeck] goal, which was important. From then it was clear that we were in control, and it was nice to get the second goal as well because its better to get something out of the game than lose it.

on why having a big first-leg lead can cause issues...
Because there is only one team with something to lose and that is the one that is in a position where everyone says, 'if you lose from there then it is absolutely crazy'. That is what happened to Barcelona, it almost happened to Real Madrid and today we had to make sure that it didn't happen to us. At 2-0 the game can go either way and you have to make sure you are strong in your mind and you don't panic. We didn't panic and we did well in that period. We calmed down and found a way to score goals, and the first was important.

on starting to 'smell the trophy' now...
There are three games to go: when you start there are 15 to go, but now it is only three and we will see what the draw is. In the semi-final you don't have much to choose from because everyone who reaches the semi-final has the quality to get that far, they are only quality teams and we will see what happens. We are going step by step towards our target and hopefully we can make another step and then have a possibility to jump the final hurdle.

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