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Liverpool in heaven: Dudek

May 26, 2005 13:51 IST

Goalkeeper Jerzy Dudek said Liverpool are in heaven after winning the Champions League on penalties despite trailing favourites AC Milan 3-0 at halftime in Istanbul on Wednesday.

"It was difficult to come back from 3-0 down but we did it. This is our night and for all the people who came here to support us, it was fantastic. We are in heaven now," he said.

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Goals from outstanding skipper Steven Gerrard, Vladimir Smicer and Xabi Alonso in a seven-minute blitz after the break turned the game Liverpool's way and Dudek finished the job in the shootout.

The Pole said his constant movement before the spot kicks was a leaf out of Bruce Grobbelaar's book when he steered Liverpool to a penalty shootout win over another Italian team, AS Roma, in the 1984 European Cup final.

"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."

Standing next to manager Rafael Benitez, who had lifted his men at halftime, Gerrard said: "All credit to this man, he never let us put our heads down.

"We carried on playing and every one of us deserve credit. And I'm just made up with these fans, they've saved up for weeks and months to come here tonight."

Benitez said: "Now my problem is I don't have words to express all the things I feel at this moment.

"We talked at halftime. We needed to do something and change things and we thought if we score it can be different.

"We conceded in the first moments. It's difficult. We lost Harry Kewell and players with cramp but the players believed and we won. We changed something."

Carragher summed up the disbelief of the players.

"I don't believe it, it must be one of the greatest European finals of all time. I've never seen anything like it in my life, it was difficult to believe.

"At halftime we were all just deflated, the only thing we knew was that we had to get the next goal.

"When the first goal went in, though, you could just see it in them [the players], we thought we could do it."

Milan's Danish striker Jon Dahl Tomasson said: "We gave it away and it's very disappointing. Liverpool played well in the second half and we had 10 minutes when our concentration went a bit. Everybody is down. I think we deserved to win."

 


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