Benfica v Chelsea, Europa League Final: 'It's the same story – let's hope for the same end,' says Petr Cech ahead of Benfica clash

Chelsea looking to claim second European title in as many years

Almost one year on from that magical night in Munich, Petr Cech is hoping for a repeat in Amsterdam. The veteran goalkeeper was a hero in the Allianz Arena, saving one penalty in extra time and two in the shoot-out to make Chelsea European champions.

Cech said that was a "special" night and was particularly notable because it came just months after Chelsea changed their manager mid-season, replacing Andre Villas-Boas with Roberto Di Matteo. This season, Di Matteo was sacked and Rafael Benitez installed in November, and Cech hopes that Chelsea can triumph over adversity again.

 

Follow all the latest news on the match and keep up-to-date with developments in Amsterdam by clicking here

 

"It was a fantastic story and I think that is why it ended the way it ended," Cech remembered. "I think it was just meant to be. It was really an incredible story but I think winning back-to-back European trophies will be a great story too, in almost the same circumstances in having to change the manager in the course of the season again. Hopefully, it will be the same ending."

Cech's career has been very successful but last year's final was the peak of it. "So far it is a highlight of my career because it is a Champions League final," he said. "After all the success I have had with the club, it was special, having lost the final in 2008. Sometimes you don't get a second chance. We got a second chance and we grabbed it."

Against Bayern Munich last season, Cech saved from former team-mate Arjen Robben in extra time before stopping kicks from Ivica Olic and Bastian Schweinsteiger in the shoot-out. He said he revels in the pressure of a shoot-out.

"It is a great challenge and you are in the centre of the challenge, because obviously you are in the goal and you face all the penalties," Cech said. "As a player it is a huge challenge for the one who takes the penalty and the goalkeeper, and I like situations like that. But hopefully we will avoid another drama!"

His opposite number for Bayern, Manuel Neuer, scored against Cech last year and the Chelsea goalkeeper would have no hesitation in taking a penalty if required tomorrow night.

"I would if one day the manager came to me and asked me to take one. You see in the history of the game how many great players have missed a penalty, if you want another one you can have another one. You are not in bad company."

Cech's medal cabinet is very well-stocked but he would love the chance to add something new.

"It is great to be involved in the final. It is the first time we have played in the competition, we have reached the final, played away, so it is a positive thing.

"The Europa League is a prestigious competition for many countries and many teams and this club has never won it because it is the first time we have played in the competition, so it would be great to add that trophy to Stamford Bridge."

But, given the choice, he would rather not be back again next year, instead preferring a return to the Champions League. "It is not something you say with a lack of respect, but I hope it is not going to happen."

 

Follow all the latest news on the match and keep up-to-date with developments in Amsterdam by clicking here

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Details of the self-cleaning coating were published last night in the journal Science
science
News
Approved Food sell products past their sell-by dates at discounted prices
i100
News
Life-changing: Simone de Beauvoir in 1947, two years before she wrote 'The Second Sex', credited as the starting point of second wave feminism
peopleHer seminal feminist polemic, The Second Sex, has been published in short-form to mark International Women's Day
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
The beat is on: Alfred Doda, Gjevat Kelmendi and Orli Shuka in ‘Hyena’
filmReview: Hyena takes corruption and sleaziness to a truly epic level
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Homeless Veterans campaign: Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after £300,000 gift from Lloyds Bank

Homeless Veterans campaign

Donations hit record-breaking £1m target after huge gift from Lloyds Bank
Flight MH370 a year on: Lost without a trace – but the search goes on

Lost without a trace

But, a year on, the search continues for Flight MH370
Germany's spymasters left red-faced after thieves break into brand new secret service HQ and steal taps

Germany's spy HQ springs a leak

Thieves break into new €1.5bn complex... to steal taps
International Women's Day 2015: Celebrating the whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Whirlwind wit of Simone de Beauvoir

Simone de Beauvoir's seminal feminist polemic, 'The Second Sex', has been published in short-form for International Women's Day
Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Mark Zuckerberg’s hiring policy might suit him – but it wouldn’t work for me

Why would I want to employ someone I’d be happy to have as my boss, asks Simon Kelner
Confessions of a planespotter: With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent

Confessions of a planespotter

With three Britons under arrest in the UAE, the perils have never been more apparent. Sam Masters explains the appeal
Russia's gulag museum 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities

Russia's gulag museum

Ministry of Culture-run site 'makes no mention' of Stalin's atrocities
The big fresh food con: Alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay

The big fresh food con

Joanna Blythman reveals the alarming truth behind the chocolate muffin that won't decay
Virginia Ironside was my landlady: What is it like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7?

Virginia Ironside was my landlady

Tim Willis reveals what it's like to live with an agony aunt on call 24/7
Paris Fashion Week 2015: The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp

Paris Fashion Week 2015

The wit and wisdom of Manish Arora's exercise in high camp
8 best workout DVDs

8 best workout DVDs

If your 'New Year new you' regime hasn’t lasted beyond February, why not try working out from home?
Paul Scholes column: I don't believe Jonny Evans was spitting at Papiss Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible

Paul Scholes column

I don't believe Evans was spitting at Cissé. It was a reflex. But what the Newcastle striker did next was horrible
Miguel Layun interview: From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

From the Azteca to Vicarage Road with a million followers

Miguel Layun is a star in Mexico where he was criticised for leaving to join Watford. But he says he sees the bigger picture
Frank Warren column: Amir Khan ready to meet winner of Floyd Mayweather v Manny Pacquiao

Khan ready to meet winner of Mayweather v Pacquiao

The Bolton fighter is unlikely to take on Kell Brook with two superstar opponents on the horizon, says Frank Warren
War with Isis: Iraq's government fights to win back Tikrit from militants - but then what?

Baghdad fights to win back Tikrit from Isis – but then what?

Patrick Cockburn reports from Kirkuk on a conflict which sectarianism has made intractable