After scoring the winning spot-kick in a 9-8 shootout win over 10-man Everton to book his side’s place in the FA Cup fourth-round, West Ham United goalkeeper Adrian couldn’t hide his delight when speaking to the BBC after the match.
With the third-round replay needing penalties following a thrilling 2-2 draw after extra-time at the Boleyn Ground, it was up to the Spanish shot-stopper to be the hero and he didn’t disappoint, saving Steven Naismith’s effort before slotting home himself after a miss from rival keeper Joel Robles.
Stepping up ahead of defender James Tomkins for the kick, the former Real Betis man was so confident of sealing the match that he even decided he could do without his gloves, but stressed at the final whistle that it wasn’t because he had had much practise in the past.
"I felt quiet and relaxed and I didn't have nerves. I thought 'I'll take off my gloves, this game is over' and I struck the ball," he said.
After taking the lead in the 51st-minute through Enner Valencia, West Ham appeared set to stroll to victory when Everton winger Aiden McGeady was sent off soon after for a second bookable offence.
The visitors fought back, though, with substitute Kevin Mirallas equalising eight minutes from the end through a stunning free-kick, before Romelu Lukaku turned in his fellow Belgian’s cross in extra-time to put Roberto Martinez’s side in front.
Carlton Cole levelled the match two minutes after coming off the bench, however, to set things up for Adrian’s big moment.
"I never took a penalty before - only in training for a joke, but not serious," the Hammer number one said. "Never in my life had I struck one in an important game.
"I took my gloves off so quickly as I worried that the referee might blow his whistle and give me a yellow card for time-wasting!
"I have celebrated my saves before normally, but never scoring a goal! It was my first goal in my career and it's an amazing day."
Arriving at the club in the summer of 2013 on a free transfer, it took Adrian a few months to prize the first-choice job from veteran Jussi Jaaskelainen, but now there are serious grounds to argue that he might just be developing into one of the Premier League’s top keepers.