Petr Cech conceded a draw was a fair result after a busier-than-expected afternoon for the veteran Arsenal goalkeeper concluded with Middlesbrough taking a 0-0 away from Emirates Stadium.
Cech was at his familiar best to thwart livewire winger Adama Traore in each half, while he produced a close-range stop from Gaston Ramirez after the playmaker rattled the angle of post and bar with a rasping free-kick.
The goalkeeping workload after half-time was more evenly split between Cech and Victor Valdes, but the free-scoring form that demolished Ludogorets on Wednesday deserted Arsenal on manager Arsene Wenger’s 67th birthday.
“I think that we had a lot of possession but we rushed a little bit in the final third and we could have kept our cool better to have a better opportunity to score,” Cech said after the match.
“We had a few shots where the goalkeeper did very well and in the end we didn’t find the goal.
“Overall they had plenty of chances as well, so I have to say the draw is a fair result.
“When they had their chances and didn’t take them I thought we were going to punish them for that.
“We lost a little bit of our calm in the last third of the pitch. We rushed passes too quickly and that’s unlike us.”
The point edges Arsenal to the top of the Premier League, although Liverpool and Manchester City could climb above them by the end of the weekend.
“There’s a long way to go, we’ve only played 10 games so far so there are plenty of games to play and we look in good shape,” Cech added.
“We just need to go back to work and carry on.”