The West Ham manager’s verdict was the same as those inside the Boleyn Ground on Tuesday night and the hundreds of thousands watching at home on TV – that was some night.
The FA Cup fourth round replay had all the hallmarks of a classic – end-to-end open play, fierce competition and passion, extra time and a result that came within seconds of the final whistle.
Slaven Bilic said: “This night will go down as one of the greatest at our club.”
“I am very down to earth and I don’t want to control the emotions because it is a special night. We now have to concentrate on Norwich City for Saturday but there is no harm in saying it’s a special night for our club. I am proud of the players and anyone who has a connection with West Ham because it was a great night.”
“It was over 120 minutes but if we scored in the 92nd minute then it would still had been great. It was a great header even though we suffered the injuries.”
The Hammers gained the lead as the first half drew to a climax thanks to winger Michail Antonio’s superb volley.
However, the second half began brilliantly for the Reds as Brazilian playmaker Philippe Coutinho’s clever low free kick left goalkeeper Darren Randolph helpless.
As no team found a winner during 90 minutes, the game went to extra time and after a flurry of chances it was centre half Angelo Ogbonna in the 121st minute who rose above a crowd of defenders and sent a towering header into the goal from Dimitri Payet’s corner.
The east Londoners were through to the fifth round and a meeting with Blackburn at Ewood Park on Sunday, February 21.
Bilic was full of praise for Ogbonna’s all-round performance.
“The goal was only the cherry on top of the cake,” he said. “He was magnificent today. Everyone was great in the team – even the players like [Michail] Antonio who were playing out of position for the majority of the game. It was an open game when they put [Daniel0 Sturridge and [Divock] Origi on.
“There was no weak link in the team but Ogbonna played with so much confidence and physical ability which is everything you could ask for.”
Ogbonna said: “I’m still excited, and I want to enjoy this moment. It’s unbelievable. “It was my first goal for West Ham and in front of our supporters, so I am really happy for my teammates, for everybody. I really enjoyed it.”
West Ham have played Liverpool four times this season, conceding just a single goal.
But the match took its toll. Cheikhou Kouyate was down for several minutes after a fierce head clash, Winston Reid limped off and his replacement James Collins seemed to suffer the same sort of hamstring injury. Joey O’Brien also may be doubtful for the weekend clash against Norwich.