Football

Published: Sunday December 29, 2013 MYT 1:32:01 AM
Updated: Sunday December 29, 2013 MYT 1:32:11 AM

Cech chasing Bonetti's Chelsea record for most shutouts

Petr Cech of Chelsea lifts up the UEFA Champions League trophy after his team's final soccer match against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in Munich, May 19, 2012. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

Petr Cech of Chelsea lifts up the UEFA Champions League trophy after his team's final soccer match against Bayern Munich at the Allianz Arena in Munich, May 19, 2012. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

LONDON (Reuters) - Petr Cech will reinforce his status as Chelsea's most decorated goalkeeper if he equals the club record for most clean sheets in Sunday's heavyweight Premier League showdown against Liverpool.

The 31-year-old Czech international recorded his 207th shutout in the 1-0 victory over Swansea City on Thursday and another one against Liverpool will move him alongside Stamford Bridge great Peter Bonetti.

Bonetti kept 208 clean sheets in 729 appearances in all competitions between 1959-79 while Cech has only played 455 games for the London club.

"It is a great milestone for a goalkeeper," Cech told the club website (www.chelseafc.com) on Saturday. "It would obviously be fantastic to get the record.

"Beating Swansea ... was an important three points and now we are in a good position to go face to face with Liverpool."

Former England international Bonetti won the 1965 League Cup, 1970 FA Cup and 1971 European Cup Winners' Cup but never won the domestic championship.

Cech has lifted the Premier League title three times since joining Chelsea from French club Stade Rennes for a transfer fee of seven million pounds ($11.55 million) in 2004 and also won the Champions League in 2012.

Manchester City are top of the Premier League after Saturday's 1-0 win over Crystal Palace gave them a total of 41 points.

Arsenal (39 points) can leapfrog City by winning at Newcastle United on Sunday, the same day as third-placed Chelsea (37) meet fourth-placed Liverpool (36).

($1 = 0.6063 British pounds)

(Writing by Tony Jimenez; editing by Pritha Sarkar)

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