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'Unlucky Nico, you d***head' - Nicol recalls Liverpool penalty miss in Roma final

Steve Nicol recalls his penalty miss during the 1984 European Cup final against Roma.

In a true European Cup final classic, Liverpool claimed a 4-2 penalties victory over Roma at the Stadio Olimpico back in 1984 but the Reds did not get off to the best of starts during the shootout as Nicol missed the first spot kick.

Recalling the moment in his autobiography, '5 League Titles and a Packet of Crisps', Nicol has stated that he did not feel too confident ahead of the kick and revealed that teammate Mark Lawrenson had some interesting words of consolation after he made his way back to the centre circle.

Nicol stated: "As I walk from the halfway line to take the first penalty, I'm completely in command of my senses. Then I reach the box and things begin to change. Reality starts to set in. My head had been clear, but now I'm thinking about the situation I am in.

"For the first time I start to doubt myself. I'm only 22... I'm about to take the first penalty in a European Cup final shoot-out. Silly thoughts, I know. I turn around. I take an initial glance towards goal. That's the moment everything changes.

"For the only time in my career, I don't feel in full control. I start my run-up. Then, midway through, I lift my head and look where I want to put the ball. A classic mistake. The ball soars over the bar.

"The walk back felt like a lifetime. From the moment I missed that penalty to reaching the lads in the centre circle, I don't remember anything. It was just a blur.

"As I walked back, I started to grab at my throat with my left hand. I've got no idea why. It was a gesture I would be reminded of time and time again. Back at Melwood, whenever I had a shocker in training, Kenny Dalglish would pull at his throat and mimic my gesture, taking the p***.

"When I got back to the centre circle I intentionally stood to one side. I didn't want to be a ­distraction. I wasn't looking for a hug and I wasn't looking for players or coaches to come and console me.

"A few of the boys came up to me and tried to be sympathetic. Then Lawro [Mark Lawrenson] appeared with perfect comic timing: 'Unlucky Nico...you d***head'."

Sarad Bade Shrestha
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Sarad Shrestha

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