Harry Redknapp felt something special could happen when Roman Pavlyuchenko stepped up for his matchwinning free-kick against Rubin Kazan.
There were no thrills from the striker as he simply strode up and blasted the ball into the top corner from 20 yards after Danny Rose had been hauled down.
Pav’s thunderbolt was enough for a 1-0 victory against the impressive Russian side who caused us problems at the Lane and forced Heurelho Gomes into three fine saves.
The win put us top of Group A at the halfway stage with the return match in Tartarstan to follow on November 3.
“He’s a great striker of the ball and technically, a fantastic footballer,” said Harry.
“When he put the ball down I fancied he could score because he really can strike a ball well. He really can hit it.
“He’s a top player, a first-team player and this was an opportunity for him. It was great to see him score.
“It was a great result for us. It was important we won the game and getting that result means perhaps another win and a draw will do us.”
We are now two points clear of PAOK, who beat Shamrock Rovers 2-1 in Greece.