Arsenal vs Middlesbrough: A tale of two keepers

Arsenal's Petr Cech celebrates after the game

Both Petr Cech and Victor Valdes were outstanding as Arsenal and Middlesbrough played out a 0-0 draw at the Emirates.

Arsenal's Petr Cech applauds fans after the game

Having trounced Ludogorets 6-0 in midweek, many expected that Middlesbrough would suffer a similar fate at the hands of an in-form Arsenal, but the result was quite different.

The newly-promoted side stood firm in defence, with Victor Valdes producing a performance reminiscent of his Barcelona days, while Cech spared the Gunners blushes on more than one occasion with some outstanding saves, and stretched their unbeaten run to 12 in all competitions.

Despite Arsenal dominating possession, Boro looked sharp on the counter, with Adama Traore leading several dangerous charges at the Arsenal box.

Arsenal's Petr Cech saves from Middlesbrough's Adama Traore

Traore had an excellent effort saved by Cech when one-on-one, and the Czech stopper was quick to make a double save from Alvaro Negredo's follow-up. 

At the other end, Valdes was on his toes to save from an Alexis Sanchez free-kick, and produced a magnificent one-handed save from the Chilean's swerving long-range drive in the second half. 

Middlesbrough's Victor Valdes saves from Arsenal's Alexis Sanchez

This was a valuable point for both teams. Middlesbrough, with all due respect, were expected to be rolled over by Arsenal, and a point was a good result for the club - even though they could very well have come away with more.

Valdes' quality between the sticks allowed them to leave with a point instead of taking home an undeserved loss.

From an Arsenal perspective, however, Cech's heroics preserved their recent unbeaten run that keeps spirits high and confidence boosted, when a well executed plan could have lost them the game. Arsenal squads of recent years would have fallen to this counter-attacking tactic for the lack of an exceptional goalkeeper to bail them out.

Both keepers have proved their incredible value to their clubs, and both manages know that their stoppers will earn them valuable points come the end of the season.

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