Heurelho Gomes has played down his San Siro heroics – insisting ‘I’m just doing my job’.
But even the modest goalkeeper admits how important his two fantastic reflex saves from Mario Yepes headers early in the second half were in our famous 1-0 win over AC Milan in the first leg of our Champions League, Round of 16 tie.
However, the Brazilian is keen to focus on what he feels was a great team performance overall, even though the focus post-match was on his personal display.
Gomes said: “It’s all about concentration - it’s my job. It was an important moment because, if they score at that time, I think it would have been difficult for us because they would put us under pressure again and maybe score again.
“So it was very important but it wasn’t just me. We’re talking about the whole team and I think the lads did great. They worked so hard and concentrated throughout the game. We did great in the first half and then defended very well in the second.
“We passed it better than them, moved the ball better than them and tried to attack them. From the first moment I thought we could win, and we did.”
For Gomes, victory at the San Siro was extra sweet after his last appearance at the famous stadium back in October had turned sour so quickly.
He was sent off just 10 minutes into our eventual 4-3 defeat to Inter in the group stage of this competition as we found ourselves four down at the break.
The 30-year-old (it was his birthday on Tuesday!) believes we showed great character to banish those memories on our return to the venue.
Gomes added: “We know it’s not easy to play at the San Siro, especially for myself last time because I was sent off and left the team with 10 men.
“It wasn’t easy, but we did great as well that night to come back. This time I played the whole game and it’s much better than before.”
And the goalkeeper also reserved special praise for our travelling support on the night, but knows the job is not done.
He continued: “I’m proud because they came to Milan and were a long way up in the stadium but were still pushing us on. I’m very happy for them.
“Now it’s going to be another difficult game. I know how difficult it is to play Champions League because I’ve been here many times. But we just need to keep going.”