Kevin Bond paid tribute to Carlo Cudicini after the goalkeeper’s wonder show against Rubin Kazan on Thursday night.
Carlo made save after save as the Russian side went all-out for a victory they desperately needed in the fourth match of Europa League, Group A.
In the end, it took a moment of magic to beat him and ultimately win the match as Bebras Natcho curled home a free-kick in the 55th minute to secure a 1-0 win for the home side.
The Italian produced four saves in an eight-minute spell in the first half to deny Christian Noboa, Natcho, Cesar Navas and Aleksandr Ryazantsev, the best a full-length dive to tip over Natcho’s dipping 30-yarder.
Rubin continued to press after the goal and Carlo was there again to keep out Ryazantsev and then Gokdeniz Karadeniz and Nelson Valdez in the space of two minutes – unfortunately, ultimately, for no reward.
“Carlo was wonderful, absolutely fantastic,” said assistant boss Kevin.
“We know our goalkeepers are all good goalkeepers and he turned in a really brilliant display. They had a few opportunities and he was there for us when we needed him.”
Kevin said it was a mark of Carlo’s professionalism that he’s always ready to perform at the very highest level.
“He lives his life so professionally, always prepares himself well so when he’s picked to play or needs to come off the bench he’s always totally prepared,” added Kevin. “He performed heroically at times for us."