Real Madrid boss Zinedeine Zidane paid tribute to Brazilian teenager Rodrygo after his hat-trick in the 6-0 Champions League win over Galatasaray.
The win saw Los Blancos ease into the knockout phase.
The 18-year-old former Santos striker scored twice within the opening seven minutes at the Bernabeu Stadium and completed his treble in stoppage time to cap a fine evening’s work.
In addition, he had earlier set up Karim Benzema to score the first of his two goals after skipper Sergio Ramos had converted from the penalty spot.
Benzema’s second was his 50th goal for the club in the competition and helped set up a showdown with Group A leaders Paris St Germain in Spain in three weeks’ time.
The French side will head into the game five points better off than their hosts, but knowing Zidane’s men have put a slow start to their European campaign firmly behind them.
Asked about Rodrygo’s performance in the press conference after the game, Zidine said: “We are happy for him because in the end when he gets the chance to play he plays well, and he did so again tonight.
“He plays well in every sense. We know his qualities in attack well, but he also works hard in defence and helps out with a lot.
“But we need to keep calm and not put any pressure on him.”
Rodrygo needed just four minutes to fire his side in front, and he helped himself to a second just three minutes later with a fine header, full-back Marcelo providing the ammunition on both occasions as Galatasaray were picked off repeatedly at the back.
Their fortunes took a further turn for the worse when, having been invited to review Steve Nzonzi’s challenge on Toni Kroos on the edge of the box by the video assistant referee, German match official Felix Zwayer pointed to the spot.
Ramos resisted the temptation to allow Rodrygo to complete a quick-fire hat-trick, dinking the resulting penalty over keeper Fernando Muslera to make it 3-0.
The Brazilian teenager turned provider on the stroke of half-time, capitalising on yet another error by the Galatasaray rearguard to hand Benzema the simplest of chances to make it 4-0.
Benzema passed up two opportunities to add to his tally as time ran down, but he made no mistake when he tapped home Dani Carvajal’s 81st-minute cross from point-blank range to complete a personal half-century before Rodrygo completed the rout from the Frenchman’s through-ball.
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Striker Divock Origi accepts he has a tough task in competing against Liverpool’s famed front three but he believes he is “slowly but steadily” improving.
The Belgium international has found opportunities limited because of the form both individually and as a triumvirate of Mohamed Salah, Roberto Firmino and Sadio Mane.
He has, however, contributed some significant goals over the last 12 months, starting with his late derby winner at Anfield last December, through his double in the 4-0 Champions League semi-final second leg comeback against Barcelona and then his strike in the final against Tottenham, to another added-time goal to equalise in last week’s 5-5 Carabao Cup draw with Arsenal.
With a packed fixture schedule to come over the next couple of months there is every chance Origi will get more game time and he hopes he can take his chance.
“Personally I am just going game by game in terms of assessing,” he said after starting in the 2-1 Champions League victory over Genk after manager Jurgen Klopp rested key players ahead of Sunday’s visit of Manchester City.
“I am just progressing, feeling stronger game by game and trying to help the team more and more.
“I am finding my ways, finding the routines, how the guys play and I think you can tell on the pitch as well, I am growing, trying to be more efficient in the last quarter which is coming slowly but steadily.
“I always see it as being the best I can be and I love the fact we have so much quality because that is what helped us win the Champions League.
“That is going to help us be successful and if everyone is at their best, then the choice is nothing new, it is on the coach and we all try to make the choice as difficult as possible for the coach.”
The win over Genk, which put Liverpool top of Group E and within one victory over the knockout stage, was almost a sideshow, however, as the weekend’s clash between the Premier League’s top two was never far away from anyone’s thoughts.
“It is important for us. I think we worked hard to play against a team that really wanted it – so a very important three points,” he added.
“We know we still have some important games but it was crucial for us to win and everyone knew it so we are very happy we did it.
“Definitely it is good to keep on going, keep the flow going and I think this weekend is going to be a big game.
“We have already played a couple of times against each other so we are all looking forward to it.”
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Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino is confident Son Heung-min will be ready to play in the Champions League against Red Star Belgrade.
Son was devastated after his challenge left Everton midfielder Andre Gomes needing surgery on a broken and dislocated ankle during Sunday’s 1-1 draw at Goodison Park.
The South Korean was sent off, a decision which has since been overturned by the Football Association, and the club have been providing support for him.
But he travelled to Belgrade and Pochettino says he is in good form.
“Son was devastated after the action,” he said. “It was a mix of everything, it was a mix of the injury, a mix of the red card, the situation of the game it was an emotional moment for everyone.
“Now after a few days, everyone is available to play. He is in a very good way, he feels sorry like everyone, but he is in good form.”
Son will need to be on top form as Spurs take on Red Star Belgrade a year to the day that the Serbians beat Liverpool in last season’s group stage.
The atmosphere will be hostile, but it is hoped that fan behaviour will not cross the line into racism.
Spurs were subjected to abuse on their last trip to the Serbian capital while Red Star fans were banned from the reverse fixture a fortnight ago after racist abuse in a qualifying round.
The Serbia national team must also play a game behind closed doors following racism in the Rajko Mitic Stadium last month – the ground where Pochettino’s side will play.
Harry Kane says his side are ready to follow the protocol if things turn nasty.
Kane has recent experience of the three-step process following the shameful scenes in Bulgaria last month, where England were close to coming off the pitch in Sofia after some abhorrent abuse.
Red Star are keen to avoid any issues, posting a video on their Instagram page, while their coach Vladan Milojevic promised there would be no problem.
Kane is hoping he is not at the centre of a storm again, but says the club are ready if the worst happens.
“Like I said before that game (in Sofia), hopefully it doesn’t happen and we play a football match.
“If it does happen then obviously there’s a protocol in place like there was in Sofia, and as players we follow that.”
Provided by Press Association Sport