LONDON -- Petr Cech finally became the first goalkeeper to keep 200 Premier League clean sheet after making his first penalty save for Arsenal in Sunday's 3-0 win over Watford.
Cech had been stuck on 199 clean sheets -- already a record -- since Arsenal's 1-0 win over Newcastle on Dec. 16, a run of 11 games.
He had to work hard for this one, making a couple of good saves in the first half and then denying Troy Deeney from the penalty spot in the 62nd minute.
It was the first time in 16 attempts that Cech saved a penalty since moving to Arsenal from Chelsea and brought a wild roar of approval from the Emirates crowd, which had booed Deeney loudly following his comments in October that the Gunners lacked "cojones."
Cech also reacted quickly to keep out a deflected shot from Abdoulaye Doucoure early on and then got down just in time to push away a free kick from Richarlison in the first half -- though he was lucky that Roberto Peyreyra blasted the rebound high over the bar.
"It's an unbelievable personal milestone, obviously," Cech said of his 200th clean sheet on Sky Sports. "We took only 18 games to get nine clean sheets at the start of the season to reach the 199 and we had to wait 11 games, which is sometimes frustrating. But the most important thing is when the team wins."
The Czech goalkeeper admitted it has been a tough recent period for Arsenal, adding: "When you are in the difficult moment and you have a run of results which go against you, you need to look at yourself and find the way out.
"We had a big result in Milan and I thought we carried this determination today against a very good side. It was not as easy as the score says because we scored those goals in the right moments."
Manager Arsene Wenger was full of praise the for Czech after the game -- especially after his struggles in Arsenal's last league match, a 2-1 loss at Brighton.
Cech conceded two soft goals in that one and took to Twitter immediately after the match to take responsibility for the loss.
"It highlights what Petr Cech has done, 200 clean sheets in his career, that's remarkable. And on top of that he saved a penalty today. ... It's quite fortunate that it's against Deeney," Wenger said.
"I think in two weeks, his situation shows how football is. In one week he went from hell to heaven, and that's how life can be. But I like the two situations because in the first situation he has shown a lot of humility and responsibility.
"And a record like that, witnesses a lot of motivation and a huge level of intelligence. Because you don't last in the game for such a long time if you're not intelligent."