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Čech out to oust Liverpool

Published: Wednesday 30 April 2008, 1.59CET
Petr Čech says it will be a "nice challenge" trying to keep the second-leg clean sheet against Liverpool FC which would earn Chelsea FC a first final appearance.
by Trevor Haylett
from London

Tournament statistics

ChelseaLiverpool

Goals scored20
 
29
Attempts on target86
 
77
Attempts off target97
 
66
Corners61
 
71
Offsides50
 
32
Fouls committed217
 
188
Yellow cards17
 
17
Red cards1
 
1
 
Published: Wednesday 30 April 2008, 1.59CET

Čech out to oust Liverpool

Petr Čech says it will be a "nice challenge" trying to keep the second-leg clean sheet against Liverpool FC which would earn Chelsea FC a first final appearance.

It is often said that Chelsea FC supporters want their team to play a more attacking style – but at home to Liverpool FC on Wednesday, 0-0 will suit them just fine. And if a clean sheet is the aim, who better than Petr Čech, one of the world's great goalkeepers, to see them safely through.

Party mood
A scoreless draw will take Chelsea to a first UEFA Champions League final and put Stamford Bridge in party mood. Čech insists, though, that the Blues will not set out with a stalemate in mind and will look to build on the advantage given them by John Arne Riise's 94th-minute own goal at Anfield which cancelled out Dirk Kuyt's opener.

'Nice challenge'
"It is always difficult playing a game trying to get a 0-0," the Czech international said. "We will start out in a positive mood and try to score because that would make it more difficult for them. Of course, if it gets to 85 minutes and there's no score then you can think about seeing out the game, but from the first minute we will try to score. Every clean sheet matters but this one would be even sweeter because it would mean we win the tie. It's a nice challenge for me."

No repeat
Like many of his team-mates, Čech has suffered semi-final heartbreak in this competition at the hands of the Merseysiders twice in the past three seasons, and is hoping it is the London side's turn to celebrate. "We remember those semi-finals and we don't want to repeat that experience," added the 25-year-old. "It could be one of the driving forces for us. We were ready to go to the final on the two previous occasions. We have the opportunity again and we don't want to miss out on another one. We've shown many times in the league or in the cups that we have the mental strength to get through. We just need a bit of luck as well. We had that last week with the own goal and now we need to prove it was a big moment for us. If we concede a goal then that advantage will be lost."

Titanic tussle
While Liverpool took the chance to rest the majority of their leading players at the weekend, Chelsea found themselves back on centre stage with a titanic tussle against Manchester United FC. Victory in that game, and the fact it put them level on points with United at the top of the Premier League, should, says Čech, give Chelsea momentum on Wednesday. "We had a massive game [on Saturday] and we won it so that was good for us. Now we have another big game in front of us although this time we know a 0-0 draw will be enough."

Last updated: 30/04/08 22.28CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2008/matches/round=15108/match=301913/prematch/focus/index.html#cech+oust+liverpool

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