Pochettino hails 'huge' potential after Madrid draw
Tottenham Hotspur manager Mauricio Pochettino hailed his side's maturity after taking a huge step towards the Champions League last 16 by holding defending champions Real Madrid 1-1 at the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday.
The English side had to rely on two stunning second-half saves from goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to deny Karim Benzema and Cristiano Ronaldo, but were good value for a point that keeps them level with Madrid on seven points at the top of Group H.
"It was a magnificent opportunity to show we can compete and play against a team used to playing at this level," said Pochettino.
Borussia Dortmund's 1-1 draw at APOEL Nicosia means the Germans and Cypriots remain six points adrift of the group leaders.
Spurs crashed out at the group stages last year against less exalted opposition, and Pochettino hailed the progression of his young side over the past 12 months.
"We are a team in construction. Last year against Monaco, Bayer Leverkusen and CSKA Moscow we managed just seven points, this year against teams like Real Madrid, Borussia Dortmund and APOEL we already have seven points.
"It has been an important step forward. The team is competing and that is something that has to give us confidence to continue on the way we have chosen to do things.
"The potential the club has for the future is huge."
Lloris' heroics also drew praise from his French compatriot and Real boss Zinedine Zidane.
"Benzema's header is one of those where Lloris saves it one in every 10," said Zidane, who couldn't hide his disappointment at dropping two points at home.
- 'Now comes Wembley' -
But Lloris hailed Spurs' resistence against a side that has won the Champions League in three of the past four seasons.
"It was a great challenge for a young team, to show the face of Tottenham against the best team in the world," Lloris told BT Sport.
"At this level it's a great feeling to get a good draw."
It could even had been better for the visitors had Keylor Navas not produced a stunning save to prevent Harry Kane enhancing his burgeoning reputation on the continent 19 minutes from time.
"A point at the Bernabeu, you'd take that every day of the week. It shows how far we've come as a team," said Kane.
The two sides meet again at Spurs' adopted home Wembley with top spot in the group on the line.
"It'll be tough again," added Kane. "But we've shown we can handle it at this level and that's what it's all about."
Real, though, have shown they have the potential to win anywhere in Europe over the past few seasons and midfielder Toni Kroos expects them to be inspired by playing at the home of football.
"Now comes the game at Wembley. We are capable of winning anywhere, Wembley is a special stadium and I am desperate for that game to arrive," said the German World Cup winner.
Liverpool send timely reminder of attacking brilliance
Jurgen Klopp's Liverpool have been breathtaking and infuriating in equal measure this season, but it all came together on Tuesday as they displayed their devastating attacking prowess in a 7-0 victory against Maribor.
As has been the case too often this season, Liverpool's opening two Champions League draws against Sevilla and Spartak Moscow were characterised by both defensive fragility and attacking frustration.
Yet from the moment Roberto Firmino opened the scoring in the fourth minute against the Slovenian side, Liverpool cut through the hosts' defence with irrepressible vim and vigour and ended up recording the biggest away win by an English team in European Cup history.
The first half was only 19 minutes old by the time Philippe Coutinho and Mohamed Salah added their names to the scoresheet -- the latter then netting his second, and the team's fourth, in the 39th minute.
By the time Hungarian referee Viktor Kassai blew the final whistle, Firmino, substitute Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and defender Trent Alexander-Arnold had scored second-half goals.
"Our attitude was outstanding, we were spot on from the first second," Klopp told BT Sport.
"We scored wonderful goals, played wonderful football and it looked like they were not very good, but it is difficult to play against us.
"I love the fact we stayed really concentrated in the second half, we controlled the game and it was a very mature performance.
"You can struggle in a game like this if you do not have a 100 percent attitude... Seven goals was wonderful, but the counter pressing I was close to celebrating it, it was so good. They are a really good football team and they could not cope with this."
Such are Liverpool's attacking options at present, dynamic England midfielder Oxlade-Chamberlain has had to be content with a place on the bench since his arrival from Arsenal in August.
"We were very clinical and putting almost all of our chances away," the midfielder said. "It feels like we have a lot of goals in us, we create a lot of chances.
"This is a competitive team, we have had a few results that have not gone our way, and I'm ready whenever I get an opportunity."
With five points, Liverpool -- who welcome Maribor to Anfield next month -- lead Group E on goal difference from Spartak Moscow, while Sevilla are one point further adrift in third.