Petr Cech
Petr Cech. Getty Images

Arsenal goalkeeper Petr Cech says the Gunners cannot rely on their two-goal lead against Valencia in their Europa League semi-final second leg on Thursday.

Cech, who will retire at the end of the season after losing his starting place in the Premier League, has featured heavily in Europe this term and could make his final appearance at the Mestalla if the Gunners fail to reach the final.

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The 36-year-old goalkeeper has warned his team-mates that their 3-1 lead from the first leg at the Emirates is not decisive, and insists the prospect of retirement has not been a distraction for him ahead of the match.

“Over the course of this campaign we were in this position a few times,” Cech said. “We lost the first round away at BATE Borisov so the home game could have been the last game in Europe.

“Then we lost away in France so the return leg against Rennes was the same thing.

“With Napoli, we won at home but we respected the opponent going to Italy. We knew it was going to be difficult and it could potentially be the last game in Europe for me.

“Tomorrow is exactly the same situation. We have given ourselves a two-goal cushion… it is an advantage but it is not a decisive advantage.”

Liverpool overturned a three-goal deficit against Barcelona on Tuesday night to reach the final of the Champions League, while Tottenham scored three goals in 40 minutes against Ajax to join the Reds in Madrid.

Cech believes Valencia are capable of producing another memorable European comeback and says Arsenal have full respect for their Spanish opponents.

“We knew that it was going to be difficult at home and it was a very difficult game,” he said.