LONDON (Reuters) – After picking the ball out of his net several times in a 4-0 drubbing at Southampton two days earlier, Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech celebrated a record on Monday by keeping his 170th Premier League clean sheet.
The Czech Republic stopper surpassed the 169 blanks set by former England international David James as Arsenal beat Bournemouth 2-0 to go top of the table.
Cech, 33, joined the club in the close season following a trophy-laden career across London at Chelsea and his performances have helped Arsene Wenger’s side climb to the summit.
“I think he can be very proud of that because it is a remarkable achievement and people once again don’t realise how much commitment is behind that, the focus and consistency in his attitude,” Wenger told reporters.
“On top of that he is a a remarkably gifted goalkeeper. The consistency is the most difficult to achieve.”
Wenger also hailed the contribution of Germany mid fielder Mesut Ozil, comparing him to former Arsenal great Dennis Bergkamp.
Ozil created the opening goal for defender Gabriel and scored the second, continuing an impressive season during which he could create a record for assists.
He has laid on 16 goals and is closing in on the record of 20 set by former Arsenal striker Thierry Henry in 2002-03.
“Bergkamp was more of a goalscorer and Mesut was more of an assists [player] but now he becomes more of a goalscorer. They are really comparable,” Wenger said.
“I have seen a few good games from Ozil but what is important is that he convinces everybody that he is not only a talented player but a player that is always willing to work for the team and work hard.
“He has added scoring goals to his assists and overall he is a complete player.”
Arsenal are one point clear but Leicester City can return to the top of the table by beating fourth-placed Manchester City at the King Power Stadium on Tuesday.
(Reporting by Justin Palmer; Editing by Tony Jimenez)