Cech accepts blame for Adebayor's goal


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The Independent Football

Petr Cech held up his hands once more after his second mistake in six days again proved costly to Chelsea's fading Barclays Premier League title hopes.

But unlike at Wigan on Saturday, where their goalkeeper's spill robbed them of maximum points, Cech's team-mates were far more culpable for the Blues' failure to win last night's London derby at Tottenham.

Cech certainly was at fault for Spurs' eighth-minute opener, the 29-year-old missing a chance to cut out Gareth Bale's low cross and allowing Emmanuel Adebayor to prod home.

"Unfortunately, when the ball came in, I was a bit late and he tapped it in but it was a great cross, and I think I missed it by an inch," said Cech, who also accepted his share of the blame at the DW Stadium on Saturday.

"Unfortunately, there was a goal in the last two minutes where somebody went across and I couldn't see the ball and it fell to a player to tap it in, which was a pity, but that's the way football goes sometimes."

Both incidents were similar in that Cech was at risk of being clattered by an opponent, and some have expressed concern over whether his two head injuries this season - five years after he fractured his skull in a game - have affected his confidence in such situations.

But the 29-year-old was pretty faultless otherwise during last night's 1-1 draw, which would have been a victory had Ramires not wasted a one-on-one chance with Brad Friedel or an unmarked header from eight yards.

Didier Drogba also hit the angle of post and crossbar after Daniel Sturridge equalised with his ninth goal of the season.

"We levelled the game and I think we did really well," Cech said.

"In the second half, we put them under pressure from the start and had a lot of chances but we didn't score.

"Right at the end, they could have won it but overall we have to say it's a good point."

Indeed, it was John Terry's goalline heroics - on a night he was mercilessly taunted by Spurs fans over his upcoming court case - that prevented Chelsea paying the ultimate price.

The result left them in fourth place, 11 points behind leaders Manchester City.

"I think it's a good point overall," Cech said, insisting he would not obsess over the ever-increasing gap to the summit.

"We can't look too much at the table - we need to keep going step by step, try to win our games and try to catch up as many points as we can."

Cech was part of the Chelsea side which almost overhauled a 16-point deficit at a later stage of the season to win the league last term.

But they were not chasing a City side who look like dropping points once in a blue moon.

Cech admitted Chelsea needed something dramatic to happen but urged them to be in a position to capitalise if it did.

"We depend on everybody else, so it's up to them how they are going to go, but we just need to keep winning our games," he said.

That starts with Boxing Day's west London derby with Fulham, who will still be smarting from Wednesday night's home humbling by Manchester United.

Cech said: "It will be a difficult game because they lost 5-0 at home in their last game.

"It's a big London derby and they will want to bounce back, so Chelsea is a great motivation to say sorry to their supporters after Man United - but we are in a situation where we need to keep winning."