Rafael Benitez has paid tribute to Bolo Zenden after the Dutch midfielder capped his best appearance in a Liverpool shirt with a well struck penalty during last night's shoot-out with Chelsea.
Zenden stepped forward to take the first kick of the penalty competition at the Anfield Road end and made no mistake as he sent Petr Cech the wrong way and sent the Reds on the road to Athens.
"Some people don't know how important Bolo Zenden is to us because he works really hard for the team and his mentality is really good," explained the Reds' manager.
"I decided that he would go up for the first penalty because we were practising in training this morning and he was very good. Robbie Fowler was down to take the fifth penalty because he was very good also.
"With Bolo I thought we would start with a really secure player."
Benitez was also pleased with the contribution of another Dutchman after Dirk Kuyt ultimately netted the decisive penalty to spark an Anfield party.
"We always talk about Dirk scoring goals, but he is a striker who can work the defenders and it is really important to the team to have a player like him.
"I am really proud. Today was almost the perfect day. The supporters were fantastic, the atmosphere was amazing, the game was massive, then victory on penalties and more emotion. It was fantastic."