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Cech Downplays Arsenal Qualities

Petr Cech has spoken of the scenario of a potential play-off fixture between Chelsea and Arsenal, and the goalkeeper feels his side deserve 3rd place more than the Gunners.

The shot stopper, who guided his side on Wednesday night to a 2-1 win over Benfica in the UEFA Europa League final, feels that Barclays Premier League rule book should consider the results of the two league meetings between clubs. Chelsea beat Arsenal both home, and away, and Cech felt this should be enough to grant his side 3rd place ahead of the Gunners.

According to the rule, if two sides have the same number of points, goal difference and number of goals scored, and if the league standing affects qualification into an external competition, the two sides would play an additional play-off fixture against each other at the end of the season. The result of this match or two legs at a neutral venue would decide which side would finish higher.

According to the Barclays Premier League table, Chelsea and Arsenal are locked in to fight for the 3rd place. As it stands, Chelsea are in 3rd place with 72 points and a goal difference of 35. Arsenal, on the other hand, stand in 4th place with 70 points and a goal difference of 34.

Looking at the weekend, Chelsea face Everton at Stamford Bridge on Sunday, while Arsenal face Newcastle United, away at St. James Park. If Arsenal beat Newcastle 2-1, and Everton manage to hold the Blues for a 0-0 draw at the Bridge; both sides will be on 73 points, with a goal difference of 35. Also, the goals scored by both sides will be the same, which leaves no scope for differentiating one over the other.

According to Metro, Cech commented on the rule, “I don’t really understand (the Premier League rule).”

“I know this is the rule, but we beat them twice over the course of the season – home and away – so a play-off would be really extraordinary.”

“The rules are like that. Hopefully it won’t happen for both of us.”

From Chelsea’s perspective, Cech’s words sound convincing, but a rule is a rule. Also, this could get more frustrating for Chelsea, as they had planned two post season friendlies, one of which is against Manchester City, in the United States on 23rd and 25th May.

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