Bayern Munich head coach Niko Kovac heaped praise on goalscorer Renato Sanches, describing his performance as "special" in the club's successful Champions League opener against Benfica.
Ex-Benfica midfielder Sanches returned to haunt his former club, the 21-year-old Portugal international on target as Bayern claimed a 2-0 victory away from home on Wednesday.
Sanches endured a forgettable loan spell at Swansea City last season but he was handed his first Bayern start since May 2017 and repaid the faith, converting James Rodriguez's cross nine minutes into the second half, having played a role in Robert Lewandowski's opener.
Benfica also applauded Sanches – who left the Portuguese giants in 2016 after emerging through the youth ranks – following his display in the Group E clash at Estadio da Luz.
"I'm happy," Kovac said during his post-match news conference. "Like I said in Munich, Renato wasn't going to be our travel guide.
"Actually Thiago [Alcantara] should have played, but when we knew he was going to miss the game, I thought it was the right time to let Renato play.
"What he did tonight was special. You could see why he is such a good player in his young age. A player with high technical and physical skills. And then he even scored.
"I have to make a compliment to him and the Portuguese supporters, that they gave him applause. You don't see that very often. That speaks for their favour."
On the match itself, Kovac said: "We wanted to have a good start in both the Bundesliga and the Champions League.
"We knew Benfica have an exceedingly good team. They have a straightforward approach and try to finish quickly. We had to fight, we had many presentable chances but failed to make the most of them, we could have closed it out earlier.
"We want to go far in the Champions League. We have to stay focused, we know we're being hunted by everyone."
Bayern defender Mats Hummels also saluted Benfica's supporters for their treatment of Sanches post-game, tweeting: "Love it when a stadium does that. Massive respect @SLBenfica fans."
Meanwhile, Benfica head coach Rui Vitoria told reporters: "We wanted to win but faced one of the strongest teams in Europe."
|Vieira: Balotelli the same now as he was at 16|
|Butragueno backs under-fire Lopetegui|
|Liverpool´s defensive improvement has hurt attack – Klopp|
|Butler booed by Timberwolves fans during introductions|
|Pochettino: Dier´s Ramos tackle highlighted Spurs´ attitude|
|Man City working on new deal for Sane – Guardiola|
|Golden Knights sign RW Tuch to seven-year extension|
|Bryant explains how Lakers could beat Warriors|
|Finals hopefuls Isner, Fognini into Stockholm semis|
|Browns trade running back Hyde to Jaguars|
|Mourinho: I´d love to have Hazard at Manchester United|
|Hamilton´s title chances enhanced by Vettel´s grid penalty|
|Deja vu for Enisei as La Rochelle inflict another thrashing|
|Five-star Jovic makes Bundesliga history|
|Liverpool´s scoring slump no concern for cautious Klopp|
|He´s the Special One - Sarri insists he is not on Mourinho´s level yet|
|Second-half blitz guides Leicester to European success|
|Sheffield Wednesday 1 Middlesbrough 2: Besic, Assombalonga see off Owls|
|Goerges rallies to reach Luxembourg Open final, Jabeur makes history|
|Howe: Transfer speculation will not disrupt Ake|
|´Do we really want opera every night?´ - Klopp not changing Nations League view|
|Vile and abhorrent – Chelsea´s Carney responds to online abuse|
|Giants WR Beckham Jr. explains why he might cramp up: ´I really don´t like water´|
|Man City pay training-pitch tribute to Joe Hart|
|Neymar to be rested as Tuchel rubbishes Ballon d´Or concerns|
|Sarri ´not interested´ in Christensen father´s quit threat|
|Cardinals fire offensive coordinator McCoy after 1-6 start|
|Neymar return unlikely, but anything can happen – Valverde|
|Bairstow a doubt for fourth ODI|
|Manchester United fined for late arrival and delayed kick-off against Valencia|
|Australia-Pakistan chat not ´especially polite´ - Sarfraz|
|Pogba relishing ´pressure game´ against in-form Hazard|
|Don´t bet on Cardiff survival, warns Warnock|
|Buffon enjoying Tuchel´s methods at PSG|
|RIP to Wimbledon epics! Isner feels like The Undertaker following final-set tie-break rule|
|Sevilla performance sealed Bernat´s Bayern exit - Hoeness|
|Keita set to miss out as Liverpool monitor injured stars|
|He didn´t want to be here – Guardiola doubts Sancho will return to Manchester City|
|Sarri: Manchester United are the best in the Premier League|
|Mourinho salutes ´brave´ Shaw for ´best possible´ response to criticism|
|No Ballon d´Or distractions for Griezmann, insists Simeone|
|Wigan stand by Hardaker as full-back prepares to undergo rehabilitation|
|Barcelona deny Neymar talk|
|Hazard can win the Ballon d´Or as a Chelsea player, insists Sarri|
|De Bruyne in contention to start in Manchester City´s clash with Burnley|
|Neymar needs to mature to reach Messi levels - Xavi|
|We have a hell of a lot to do - Paine slams Australia batting|
|Kerber and Osaka to meet at WTA Finals|
|Lorenzo out of Japanese MotoGP|
|Real Madrid handed Africa trip in Copa del Rey|
|Allegri: Ronaldo has sharpened Juventus focus|
|No Wade in Wasps squad amid NFL reports|
|Rooney: Five of us controlled Man United dressing room|
|Bayern bosses launch scathing attack on ´disrespectful´ media|
|Saints lock in Lawes to new deal|
|Adelaide United 1 Sydney 1: Debutant Le Fondre rescues a point|
|Madrid can´t look back, only forward - Lopetegui confident of revival|
|Wimbledon to introduce final-set tie-breaks|
|Abbas inspires Pakistan to series victory|
|Madrid boss Lopetegui hopeful on Bale availability|
|Mood is positive at Bayern, insists under-pressure Kovac|
|LeBron offers food for thought after losing Lakers debut|
|Bolt future not an immediate concern for Mariners|
|Hazard: I could finish my career at Chelsea|
|Buffon hoping to avoid Champions League final against Juventus|
|Wilshere not ready for West Ham return|
|Chelsea v Manchester United: Hazard better under Sarri than he ever was with Mourinho|
|The big Friday Premier League quiz|
|Khawaja suffers meniscal tear, doubt for India series|
|Babbel: Klopp must win trophies now at Liverpool|