Best in the business?

Petr Cech has been earning rave reviews for his performances this season. Here, we use Opta statistics to look at the displays of the Chelsea goalkeeper and compare him to his rivals

Petr Cech: The Chelsea goalkeeper has a 30% better record than Joe Hart for saving shots

A goalkeeper is arguably the most important player in a team. Their performance can win and lose games to mean they face a unique pressure to their team-mates.

"I listen to people who say that Petr Cech is not as good as he was, but I disagree. Without Petr Cech last year, and without Didier Drogba, in the Champions League, Chelsea would have been nowhere"

Peter Schmeichel

Quotes of the week

Chelsea shot-stopper Petr Cech is perhaps one of the best examples and, since moving to Stamford Bridge from Rennes in 2004, he has honed a reputation among the finest in the world.

Following his arrival in England, the Czech Republic international has played a key role in winning three Premier League titles, four FA Cups, two League Cups and one UEFA Champions League. Not bad for an investment of £7million which now looks a bargain.

He has moved on from a rare mistake at Euro 2012 to produce a series of accomplished performances for Chelsea at the start of the new season.

Cech's concentration is one of his key strengths and he proved again on Tuesday night why he is so highly regarded with a faultless display in the 4-0 win over Nordsjaelland in Europe.

Despite being a spectator for the majority, the 30-year-old, who could still have another 10 years at the top level, saved all three shots he faced, completed every required catch and made no errors in his kicking distribution.

Petr Cech v FC Nordsjaelland 
Appearances1
Minutes On Pitch90
Goals Conceded0
Clean Sheets1
Saves  
Saves3
Saves from Inside Box1
Saves from Outside Box2
Saves to Shots ratio100%
Catches 
Punches0
Catches2
Dropped Catches0
Catch Success Rate %100%
Kicks 
Long Kicking Distribution6
Kicking Success Rate %100%
Cech, though, is not simply consistent and one of his saves in Denmark included the spectacular, finger-tip stop when deflecting Joshua John's goal-bound shot against a post when the score was still just 1-0.

Legendary former goalkeeper Peter Schmeichel was full of praise for Cech and Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo also acknowledged the performance of his first-choice custodian.

Cech's reliability is probably his greatest strength and he has gone a little unnoticed among Chelsea's positive start to the season.

Goal of the night - MD2 (Tues)

With the defending kings of Europe sitting at the top of the Premier League and at the summit of Champions League Group E, it has been the star names of the likes of Juan Mata, Eden Hazard and Fernando Torres who have been gaining the most praise.

But the statistics demonstrate Cech has been playing a vital role and surpassing his goalkeeping rivals in England.

So far this season in the Premier League, he has gone an average 180 minutes between conceding goals, which is more than double Manchester City's Joe Hart and Tottenham Hotspurs' Brad Friedel.

Cech also has an 86 per cent success rate in facing shots, which eclipses by 30% the record of Hart.

It is only in his kicking distribution where Cech needs to improve. But combine this with errorless catching and four clean sheets and it is easy to see why he could be key in helping Chelsea win more trophies both at home and abroad this season.

Premier League 2012/13     
PlayerPetr CechJussi JaaskelainenSimon MignoletJoe HartBrad Friedel
TeamChelseaWest Ham UnitedSunderlandManchester CityTottenham Hotspur
Appearances66566
Minutes On Pitch540540450540540
Goals Conceded35488
Minutes per Goal Conceded1801081136868
Clean Sheets43200
Saves      
Saves1828181015
Saves per game34.73.61.72.5
Saves from Inside Box12191139
Saves from Outside Box69776
Saves to Shots ratio86%85%82%56%65%
Catches     
Punches13722
Catches74253
Dropped Catches00000
Catch Success Rate %100%100%100%100%100%
Kicks     
Long Kicking Distribution5248684751
Kicking Success Rate %42%48%60%70%53%

Is Petr Cech the best goalkeeper in the world?

  • Yes
  • No