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Cech rues sluggish start

Petr Cech believes Chelsea’s slow start against Shakhtar Donetsk was the key to their 2-1 Champions League loss on Tuesday.

And the shot-stopper is determined not to make the same mistake when they take on Manchester United in the Premier League on Sunday.

Alex Teixeira broke the deadlock after just three minutes in the Donbass Arena before Fernandinho doubled the lead, which proved enough to take all three points despite Oscar’s late strike for the Blues.

Roberto Di Matteo’s side now sit now second behind Shakhtar in Group E and Cech has called on his team-mates to start matches better.

“I wouldn’t say it was a shock if you knew this was a pure, counterattacking team and we allowed them to score in the third minute,” Cech told Chelsea’s official website.

“This had a huge impact in the game because when we had possession and lost it they had the chance to counter, to shoot, to finish. They have been doing really well and we gave them a huge lift in the third minute, then we saw them play with the confidence.

“We started slowly the same as (in the second half) against Tottenham and we got punished for that. We have to make sure we start games better than this.”

The other match in the group ended in a 1-1 draw between Nordsjaelland and Juventus and Cech was glad to see the club’s fate remains in their own hands with three matches remaining.

“Obviously 1-1 there is a result which suits us because we dropped points here and we still play them, so we are still ahead,” he said.

“Let’s forget about this one, we have a massive game at the weekend, a replay at home and hopefully it will be a different story.”

The 30-year-old looked ahead to his side’s home clash Manchester United at the weekend, and hopes they have learned their lesson.

“In a way what happened was a good experience for us because we have to defend better,” he said. “We played well when we have the ball but not when we didn’t have it.

“If you do this against Manchester United you are in big danger because they are the same type of team. Hopefully it was a good lesson and we learn for the weekend.”

Wed 24 October, 2012
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