Kuyt hails Maxi factor

Rodriguez earns plaudits after claiming another treble for Reds

Maxi: Liverpool star has scored two hat-tricks in his last three games

Kuyt: Relishing Reds' recent run as they target Europa League

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Dirk Kuyt paid a glowing tribute to Maxi Rodriguez after watching his hat-trick set Liverpool on course for a 5-2 rout of Fulham.

Maxi's treble made it seven goals in his last three games - including two hat-tricks - to maintain his red-hot form since Kenny Dalglish recalled him to the side.

Kuyt is also in arguably the best run of his own career after scoring Liverpool's third goal to make it 12 goals in 13 games for club and country.

But the Dutch forward preferred to pour praise on his Argentinian team-mate.

"It was an unbelievable night again for Maxi," he told the club's official website.

"Before the Birmingham game he hadn't played for a while so to come in and score two hat-tricks in successive weeks is fantastic. He is in really good form for us in front of goal.

"Whenever Maxi wasn't playing, he was training well and still working hard and he was waiting for the moment when the manager needed him.

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"The way he has responded to the manager's faith in him has been superb. Maxi is a great player and we are all delighted for him.

"The goal that sealed his hat-trick was just a great strike. I saw it again after the game and it looked even better."

Maxi started Monday night's rout after just 32 seconds, which was the fastest Premier League goal of the season.

Unbelievable start

"It was an unbelievable start to the game scoring so early," said Kuyt, who made it 3-0 in the 16th minute.

"We arrived in London on Sunday afternoon, which was a long time to wait before the match, and the manager had told us to make sure we were ready for this game.

"It was an unbelievable start and we responded very well, going 3-0 up."

Victory took Liverpool above Tottenham into fifth place, keeping them on course for a Europa League spot.

The Reds have just two games left, with Tottenham the visitors for their final home game on Sunday, and Kuyt hopes Liverpool can continue their fine form since Dalglish's return to the dug-out.

European target

"It's really enjoyable to play in this team," he added. "Everyone is attacking and defending well and the only thing I see in the dressing room is smiles on faces.

"Our aim is to get into Europe and we want to get the maximum points we can.

"We are looking forward now to the Tottenham game. We are in great form but Sunday will be another very tough game.

"We have to be ready and if play the same way like we did at Fulham then we will have a chance to get a great result."