Petr Cech has decided to call time on his career and will retire from football at the end of the season.
The 36-year-old shotstopper has been a credit to the sport, he will be fondly remembered by both Arsenal and Chelsea fans for his world class goalkeeping ability and his consummate professionalism.
With the former Czech international set to end his playing days in a few months, here is a look back at his five best individual performances for The Gunners;
5. Arsenal 2-0 Bayern Munich (Champions League) – 20/10/15
After losing their opening two Champions League group games, Arsenal were in serious trouble of not qualifying for the knockout stage of the competition. They hosted German champions Bayern Munich in a must-win match, and a solid goalkeeping display from Cech helped the north Londoners claim a vital three points. Cech made several superb reflex saves from the likes of Thiago Alcantara and Arturo Vidal, he commanded his box authoritatively and provided a shaky Arsenal defence with a calming presence.
4. Arsenal 3-0 Watford (Premier League) – 11/03/18
Cech came to the fore for his side in this particular fixture, as Arsenal were on a three-match losing run and desperately needed to stop the rut. Since signing for Arsenal in 2015, Cech would often divide opinion amongst supporters, with a sizeable section of the Arsenal fanbase pointing to his inability to save a penalty.
Cech had faced 15 penalties up until this match, and had saved a grand total of zero - this would be the day it all changed. After a clumsy challenge in the box on Roberto Pereyra by Ainsley Maitland-Niles, Troy Deeney stepped up and saw his spot-kick smartly saved by Cech who’d guessed the correct way. Better late than never.
3. Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City (FA Cup) – 23/04/18
Arsenal headed into this FA Cup semi-final fixture as heavy underdogs. Had it not been for an injury to cup goalkeeper David Ospina, Cech may not even have played. But the Arsenal faithful will have been glad he started, as he made a string of crucial saves to help guide The Gunners to another FA Cup final.
His most important save of the bunch no doubt came in extra time, Yaya Toure struck an audacious volley and had it not been for the fingertips of Cech, would’ve scored a delightful goal. Cech was able to tip Toure’s effort onto the post to keep the score level, a huge save in a huge game.
2. Arsenal 2-0 Everton (Premier League) – 23/09/18
Cech’s goalkeeping was vital for Arsenal in this match, with visitors Everton creating several opportunities. The Toffees’ record signing Richarlison forced Cech into several saves, including a left-footed effort which Cech instinctively turned over the bar. Cech would also deny former Arsenal forward Theo Walcott from close range and did well to parry a powerful Michael Keane header.
Cech well and truly earned his clean sheet and as a result, was awarded man of the match for his heroics.
1. Arsenal 2-0 AFC Bournemouth (Premier League) – 28/12/15
Having been tested early on by the likes of Harry Arter and Josh King, Cech stood firm between the goal posts with a noticeable determination. If Cech were to keep a clean sheet in this match, he’d set the record for most clean sheets in the Premier League by any goalkeeper - eclipsing David James. After denying Matt Richie from 30 yards, it seemed this would be the game where Cech would set the record for most top-flight clean sheets, and indeed it was.
With goalkeeping legends such as Peter Schmeichel, David Seaman, Edwin van der Sar and Pepe Reina all gracing the Premier League, you simply cannot underestimate Cech’s achievement. He is in the record books for good reason and will be spoken about long after he hangs up his gloves.