CECH: VERY DIFFICULT WIN
Having played a crucial role in our 2-1 win over Aston Villa, Petr Cech was left reflecting on a job well done.
In what was a tense, nervy encounter, Branislav Ivanovic's second-half header proved decisive, ensuring we top the Premier League table after playing two matches.
The Chelsea goalkeeper came to our rescue late in the game when he made a brilliant save to deny Andreas Weimann, and he was delighted with the eventual outcome.
'In the second half we played better, improved and put them under pressure, but they still did well,' he said. 'Credit to us, though, we managed to score the second goal and win the game, but it was very difficult.
'I'm happy with my contribution; I made two important saves, at 1-1, and 2-1 to preserve the lead, so I'm happy with that. Obviously, any game you help to win three points you can be satisfied with and I have something to build on.
'When you win a game, if you play well or if you don't play well, the three points are always the same.
'I think we need to go step by step and improve in the areas which we want to improve. This was not a perfect game from our side but sometimes it's important to win a game which isn't going your way.'
Last season's corresponding fixture saw the Blues run out 8-0 winners a couple of days before Christmas. Last night's affair, however, was a totally different contest, and Cech acknowledged the change in our opponents.
'It was very different because last season when they came here they didn't have much confidence, they were building a team and fighting relegation, so when we scored two quick goals they fell apart,' he explained.
'This was a completely different story, they came on a high from the Arsenal game, full of confidence and they worked very hard. They were very patient as well; for the majority of the first half they weren't a threat but then they scored a goal, which is what they wanted.'
Next up for the Blues is a trip to Manchester United next Monday and, as ever, Cech is anticipating another close contest at Old Trafford.
'We've won games at Manchester United and we've lost games there,' he said. 'It's always tight, it's still at an early stage of the season but any advantage you can gain over your rival is always good.'