Cech: Pressure is on now
Petr Cech admits Chelsea have piled more pressure on themselves for Thursday's crunch clash against Tottenham by failing to beat Premier League strugglers Wigan.
Andre Villas-Boas' side had pulled themselves right back into the title race with three victories in a row, including over previously unbeaten Manchester City last Monday, prior to yesterday's trip to the DW Stadium. Daniel Sturridge gave the visitors the lead just before the hour mark but they could not put the game away and paid a heavy price when Jordi Gomez made it 1-1 two minutes from time.
Tottenham made the most of their rivals' slip with victory over Sunderland today and Chelsea will head to White Hart Lane two points behind Harry Redknapp's side having played a game more.
Cech said: "It's not an ideal point because we wanted to have three, and we can consider it as two points lost, but we have another game at Spurs and we need to get those points ideally back.
"Unfortunately when we are behind and chasing, any lost points puts you under more pressure to win every game. They have their game in hand, they are still in the top four and they are a direct opponent for the title and for the Champions League. This makes the game even more exciting."
Manchester City and Manchester United also pulled away from Chelsea this weekend, with Roberto Mancini's leaders now nine points clear of the Blues. Cech knows the lost two points could prove crucial, but he said: "We will see at the end of the season.
"You can lose some points at the start and catch up, and sometimes you have a great start then you have a run with some games when you keep dropping points, so let's see. We were on a bad run, we turned it round, and we have to keep going."
Gomez's equaliser was a bad moment for the Czech keeper, who was not helped by players in front of him as he fumbled a poke towards goal from Hugo Rodallega, allowing the Spaniard to guide the ball into an empty net. Cech said: "I tried to catch the ball but it was too late. I deflected it and it could have gone anywhere but it went straight to their player, which was unfortunate.
"I should have done better but, when you don't see the ball, it's hard to do something differently. I'll have to see the goal but the feeling I had on the pitch is this is not a goal I can be proud of."
Villas-Boas admitted after the match that the decision to try to hold on to their lead had backfired, although Cech felt they were comfortable doing just that until Gomez's leveller. "It was a difficult game," said the keeper. "They defended quite well, they were very organised with five defenders, so it was not easy in the first half.
"In the second half I thought when we got the breakthrough that we were going to win the game, and for a long time it looked like we were, but then what happened at the end happened.
"There was a spell of the game where they were dangerous and they had space so we tried not to give them the opportunity to counter-attack. At times we did that well. Although they had more possession, they didn't create a lot of chances."
Villas-Boas, meanwhile, is confident both midfielder Ramires and defender David Luiz, who missed yesterday's match with a bruised leg and minor knee injury respectively, will be fit for Thursday.