A jubilant Lomana LuaLua says he cannot wait to face Real Madrid CF after Olympiacos CFP ended their 31-match away-day curse at Werder Bremen last night.
Article top media content
A jubilant Lomana LuaLua admitted feeling "proud to be a part of history" after he and his Olympiacos CFP team-mates lifted their UEFA Champions League away-day curse at Werder Bremen on Wednesday.
The Greek champions had gone a remarkable 31 games in the competition without a win away from their Piraeus base, and they would have been forgiven for fearing the worst when Hugo Almeida gave Bremen a deserved lead with just over half an hour gone. Instead, they stepped up their efforts after the break and completed a remarkable 3-1 triumph, with Ieroklis Stoltidis, Christos Patsatzoglou and Darko Kovačević rattling in a goal apiece in the last 17 minutes.
"That's what I love about this side," explained LuaLua, a summer signing from Portsmouth FC. "There's great team spirit here. We never let our heads drop when we went behind and we kept believing. We're a new team in that there's a lot of players still getting to know each other, but we all know what this result means. The atmosphere was great in the changing room after the whistle and people have been telling me how long this record lasted. We've made history and I'm really proud to be a part of it."
Already familiar with the competition from his spell at Newcastle United FC, the DR Congo forward had a goal disallowed and constantly harried Bremen's back line in the second half. "We decided we needed to press them more after half-time," he said. "That's what made the difference. We pushed up and didn't give them any time on the ball. Plus, we heard our supporters screaming in the stands and that made us give 120 per cent. When you think about how far they've travelled despite our record away from home, we couldn't let them down."
Next up for the Group C leaders is a trip to Real Madrid CF on 24 October, and their 26-year-old marksman would love nothing more than to make it two away victories out of two. "That's a match I'm really looking forward to," he grinned. "One of the reasons I came to Olympiacos was games like that. You always want to face teams like Real Madrid because they're one of the best sides in the world, but we really believe we can beat anyone. We've already shown we can win away from home so why not?"