‘Scoring the penalty was double, triple happiness'


When Lauren stepped up to take his first penalty for us, there was nothing but confidence flowing through his veins.

With the score at 1-1 in the north London derby, we needed him to convert from the spot as we closed in on another Premier League title - and boy did he deliver.
"Yeah, it was a situation where it was [about] the momentum," Lauren told our In Lockdown podcast. "Momentum came before because I remember at the Olympics, I think I scored three goals against Kuwait, against Cech Republic and against Chilie in the semi-final.

"In the final [I scored a] penalty against Spain and then I went to the Africa Cup of Nations in 2002 and in the semi-final and the final it was also a penalty shoot-out. I also scored a penalty in that final so the momentum kept going so when I reached that moment when we played Tottenham at home I said to myself, 'Listen, this is my time'.
"I remember Patrick was close, Kanu as well - I think I pushed one of the guys and said, 'This is my time, I want to do it' because I was 100 per cent confident because of the momentum I was on. Every single year before that, scoring goals in important moments, in finals, in semi-finals, at the Olympics and at the Africa Cup of Nations so I had 100 per cent confidence that I could score.
"If I had any doubts I wouldn't have stepped forward so I went there, I took my chance and I scored a brilliant goal. It was the meaning... it was like a double, triple happiness."

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