Petr Cech’s return to playing action with Chelsea did not work out as he would have hoped as he conceded two goals in a 3-2 win over Tottenham in Premier League 2 action.
The Blues great retired from the professional ranks in 2019, following a couple of seasons at Arsenal, but returned to the Chelsea coaching staff later that year.
In October of this year, his name surprisingly figured in Chelsea’s 25-man Premier League squad, with the club confirming he was included as emergency cover.
Edouard Mendy, Kepa Arrizabalaga and Willy Caballero are ahead of Cech in the goalkeeping pecking order, so he is unlikely to secure any playing time in the first team.
However, he was named as a starter against Tottenham in the Premier League 2 match on Monday evening.
Cech, who made 494 appearances during an 11-year Chelsea career which earned him 13 medals, was the high-profile figure on the pitch, but he got off to a poor start when conceding on three minutes.
The goalkeeper had little chance of keeping out Jubril Okedina’s effort, which came about after a ball from a corner was lofted back into the box.
However, disappointingly for Cech, the corner came about after his attempted pass to a team-mate went straight out for a corner.
Tottenham were completely dominant in the opening period and Cech conceded again on 17 minutes.
He started to come and collect a cross from Harvey White, but the ball had too much fizz on it and Cech was in no-man’s land as Dane Scarlett beat him with an excellent header.
Cech was embarrassed with his distribution prior to the opening goal and he was almost left red-faced again with a sloppy pass, but a Tottenham attack was halted by a foul.
Chelsea were much improved after the break and quickfire goals from Marcel Lewis and Myles Peart-Harris drew them level.
Cech had little to do in the second half – his only piece of handling came when he caught a cross in injury time – until the 73rd-minute when a mass brawl broke out after a poor tackle from Alfie Devine on Danny Drinkwater.
Both players were shown red cards, and Cech came out to act as peacemaker and usher Tottenham youngster Devine away to ensure he did not get into any further trouble.
Chelsea continued to dominate, and goalscorers Lewis and Peart-Harris combined for the winner on 88 minutes – with the former cutting the ball back for the latter to fire home and send the Blues top of the table.
Cech was not the only legendary name to appear on the pitch at Kingsmeadow, as Maurizio Pochettino – son of former Tottenham boss Mauricio Pochettino – came on as a late substitute for Spurs.