Mauricio Pochettino believes Hugo Lloris proved himself as one of the best goalkeepers in the world after his stunning save helped Tottenham earn a 1-1 draw with Real Madrid.
All the attention in the build-up to the match was on Harry Kane and his battle with Cristiano Ronaldo, but it was Lloris who stole the show at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Ronaldo had levelled from the penalty spot after Raphael Varane’s own-goal had put Spurs in front before Lloris pulled off a series of brilliant stops in the second half.
Hugo Lloris kept out Karim Benzema’s close-range header at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night
Lloris applauds Tottenham’s travelling supporters after helping his side to a 1-1 draw
The best of them saw the France captain deny Karim Benzema with his legs after his compatriot looked certain to score with a free header from four yards out.
‘I think Hugo was fantastic. The performance of Hugo today is one that deserves praise from everyone,’ Pochettino said.
‘Sometimes in the Premier League we were talking, myself telling you that Hugo Lloris is one of the best and today you got to see why I told you a lot of times Hugo Lloris is one of the best in the world.
‘The performance was fantastic. A brilliant effort and the belief. It’s important to congratulate the players. I’m so proud of the effort from them.’
Tottenham rode their luck at times, with Ronaldo’s early header also hitting the post before Benzema wasted the rebound by side-footing wide.
But the visitors were far from outplayed and could even have left with a victory had Kane finished late on with only Keylor Navas to beat. Navas did well to push the shot around the post.
‘Of course it was a great chance for us to prove that we can compete,’ Pochettino said.
‘We have many components. It’s not only a matter of tactical organisation. We are still a team that is under construction.
‘Last year we got just six points and now we have seven points against Real, Apoel and Dortmund. It’s a great step forward.
‘Potentially the team, with the club structure under construction, the potential is great.’
Madrid have now won only two out of six matches at home this season and this result means they still face a fight to go through top of Group H.
Zinedine Zidane’s side will play Tottenham again at Wembley in a fortnight’s time, with both teams on seven points at the halfway stage. Borussia Dortmund and Apoel Nicosia each have one.
‘I’m not worried,’ Zidane said. ‘It’s annoying for the players because they’re the ones who work, run and fight. We have to keep going.
‘We know there’s a game back there at Wembley and the points we have not won here, we’re going to try win them there.’