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BRIDGE OF HIGHS - AND SIGHS

Posted on 13 June 2007  - 12:00

Radek Cerny's highlight of last season doubles-up as his biggest disappointment.

Radek Cerny's highlight of last season doubles-up as his biggest disappointment.

The super-professional understudy to Paul Robinson stepped out on five occasions in 2006-07 - Robbo was again ever-present in the Premiership - with the big one the FA Cup quarter-final against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge in March.

With Robbo sidelined because of a thigh injury, it looked like being a dream return to action for Radek as we forged into a 3-1 lead at half-time with goals from Dimitar Berbatov, an own goal and Hossam Ghaly’s cool finish.

Petr Cech saved one-on-one from Aaron Lennon on the hour but the tide slowly started to turn with the Blues handed a lifeline by Frank Lampard with 20 minutes left before Salomon Kalou’s heartbreaking equaliser four minutes from time. Jermain Defoe still had time to strike the crossbar.

“Before the game everyone would have taken the draw, but at half-time we were 3-1 up and it looked good for us,” reflected the popular Czech. “We all know what then happened in the second half.

“Once they scored their second goal we knew it would be difficult. At 2-0 up or 3-1 up, as we were, if a team scores, it becomes a risky scoreline. The game was open at 3-2, they scored a third and perhaps they might have scored a fourth if there was more time left, but then again, we also hit the crossbar. That’s how football can change.

“For me, it was a great game to be involved in, but everyone was disappointed after the second half. It felt like a defeat in the end.”

Chelsea took the replay 2-1 at the Lane to end any dreams of us stepping out for the first FA Cup Final at the new, revamped Wembley Stadium – Jose Mourinho's men the eventual trophy winners.

“Everyone knew about the new Wembley Stadium and every team wanted to reach the FA Cup Final - that was the dream,” added Radek. “We just have to try again next season. We were so close but that’s football, everyone wants to win.”




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