Roy Hodgson dishes out Steven Gerrard plaudits

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Liverpool manager Roy Hodgson paid tribute to captain Steven Gerrard after the England midfielder netted a superb hat-trick in the 3-1 Europa League win over Napoli.

Gerrard scored three times in the final 14 minutes at Anfield, having been brought on as a half-time substitute with the Reds a goal behind.

Hodgson beamed:"It was outstanding.

"In the first half we hadn't played that badly and were unlucky to be a goal down to an error which was punished.

"His entry on to the field was a catalyst, it galvanised the crowd and the team and the way he scored the first goal epitomised the energy and the spirit the team showed in the second half.

"We owe a big debt of gratitude to him, but he will be the first to join me in saying the whole team in the second half gave a good performance.

"I thought tonight was a real leader's performance – the first goal was not a pretty goal.

"That was a captain's goal, the goal of a guy who wanted to get his team back in the game even at the risk of injury. That is certainly appreciated by me and my staff."

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