There were a few changes to the lineup, naturally, from the team that dismantled AC Milan at the San Siro.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles came in for Hector Bellerin, who may well return for the 2nd leg versus Milan. Rob Holding also slotted in for the rested Laurent Koscielny, as he made a decidedly dicy-looking central defensive partnership. Sead Kolasinac again deputised for the injured Nacho Monreal.

Mohamed Elneny partnered Granit Xhaka as Aaron Ramsey was rested for Milan on Thursday. There were two other changes, as Alex Iwobi and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang came into our attack at the expense of Danny Welbeck and Jack Wilshere.

We made a rapid start and took the game to Watford, and it took just eight minutes for us to break the deadlock, in a manner fast becoming one of our strengths. Mesut Ozil stood over a free-kick out wide and swung in a delightful effort that found a scantily-marked Shkodran Mustafi who headed home emphatically to give us the lead.

We created plenty of chances, and Aubameyang was put clean through, only for Watford’s keeper to save with his legs. The Gabon striker was also inches away from connecting from a low cross, as our passing was cutting Watford open.

The Hornets carried a sting though, and Richarlison was denied twice by Cech, and Peyreyra skied a great chance from a spilled Cech save, as our opponent showed that we can’t afford to dip our level even a little.

Our unfamiliar looking backline were fighting gamely, but Watford’s attack were coming more and more into the game as the minutes ticked down. In the last minutes of the half, we were on the ropes and putting our heads anywhere they needed to be to stop the men in yellow.

Some great corner deliveries from Holevas were in particular giving us some cold chills, as the ball was fizzing far too close to our goal on numerous occasions. The warning signs were showing, but Watford still hadn’t scored. By the 50th minute, the Hornets had accumulated seven corners to our one already, as we failed to muster the football we had showed for the first 20 minutes.

Mkhitaryan was looking light on his feet, but also light in possession as on more than one occasion he was easily dispossessed, which started some dangerous moves that we did well to contain, but the balance of play was very much in Watford’s favour this second half.

Then, from nowhere, we had two!

Mkhitaryan picked up a loose ball from a Cech kick, and he motored into the available space. His pass was perfect for Aubameyang, lurking on the last man, and he nipped in to toe it past Watford’s keeper, Karnazis, and put into an empty net, all done at great speed.

It would get more dramatic a minute later.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles showed his immaturity a little, as he left a trailing leg out for far too long, and Peyreyra duly obliged. the referee didn’t hesitate to point to the spot, and all of us Gooners thought that the elusive 200th clean sheet for Cech would again disappear.

Cech had faced 16 previous penalties in an Arsenal shirt - and come close to saving precisely none of them.

Deeney stepped up and opted to go down the middle, and Cech had already dived to his right. He showed enough instinct though, to fling his left arm up and stop the effort. Miraculously.

That sucked the fight from Watford’s spirit, and we then started to get more of the play, more set-pieces, and more goals - well at least one more.

Ozil was sent free down the left, and his cutback was met by Aubameyang, who couldn’t shoot, but instead he found Mkhitaryan on the edge of the box, and his first time finish squeezed its way into the goal past Karnazis.

The time was ticking by and the result wasn’t in doubt, but Cech’s 200th clean sheet was. Watford huffed and puffed, but in the end, couldn’t steal away this fantastic achievement from one of the best goalkeepers the Premier League has ever seen.

We got three points, we defended well, we got a first clean sheet since December and Petr Cech removed the monkey from his back.

I’d consider this a good job well done. Good stuff Arsenal. Let’s make sure it continues.