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Dudek copies Grobbelaar antics

Kevin Fylan | May 26, 2005 12:26 IST

In 1984, it was Bruce Grobbelaar's wobbly legs that brought Liverpool their fourth European Cup win.

Twenty-one years later, Jerzy Dudek earned an equal place in Liverpool folklore, as the Polish goalkeeper's arm-waving act in another shoot-out earned the club victory in Wednesday's final against AC Milan.

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Dudek, beaten three times in the first half of a remarkable match that finished 3-3 after 90 minutes plus half an hour of extra-time, stood with his arms raised, almost touching the bar, and flapped them up and down as Serginho prepared to take the first penalty.

The Brazilian winger blasted his shot high over the bar and, after Dietmar Hamann had scored to put Liverpool ahead, Dudek repeated the act with added gusto for Milan's remaining penalty-takers.

Dudek added a shimmy across the goal line as Andrea Pirlo prepared to take the next kick and he stepped forward well off his line before diving low to his right to save it.

Jon Dahl Tomasson and Kaka scored the next two for Milan but Andriy Shevchenko, the European Player of the Year, became Dudek's third victim and that mean Liverpool won the title 3-2 on penalties.

"Jamie Carragher came to me and said, 'Remember Grobbelaar put them off all the time, you do the same' -- and I was trying to do it," Dudek said.

Grobbelaar's antics had steered Liverpool to their victory over another Italian side, AS Roma, in the final in 1984.

Dudek, only the third Polish player to appear in a European Cup final, also made an astonishing double-save to deny Shevchenko at the end of the second period of extra-time.

He has been under pressure for his place at Liverpool this season after making several errors and there has been talk of him leaving before the start of the new campaign, with Scott Carson and Chris Kirkland also pushing for the number one slot.

Liverpool manager Rafa Benitez paid tribute to Dudek's display but remained tight-lipped over his goalkeeping plans for the future.

"We know that he's a good goalkeeper and he played a really good game," Benitez said. "The last save [from Shevchenko] and his penalty saves confirmed that he is good.

"I don't know about what will happen. At the moment he has two years on his contract."


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