MOUSSA DEMBELE proved to be more than a handful for the Zenit St Petersburg defenders last night as he once again proved he has the quality and the attributes to lead the line at the highest level of the game.
The big spending visitors, currently in second place in the Russian league, see themselves as a Champions League side. Their manager, Italian Roberto Mancini, has targeted Europa League glory this season in the meantime, but correctly pin-pointed the threat from the powerful French under 21 striker to his team’s aspirations.
Dembele was outstanding before being replaced near the end. He had earned his rest and he’ll want to keep something in the tank for next week because Moussa understands that the job is so far only half done.
“We have to stay focused and make sure we keep our concentration,” Moussa told the press afterwards.
“The game is over two legs. We played the first leg at home and we have done the first part of our job, but there is still a lot to do.
“I was pleased for Callum. He took his goal really well, but it was a great team performance. We played really well.
“We have done what we set out to do in lots of ways this season. We wanted to be in Europe beyond Christmas and we have done that.
“Now we have a chance to go beyond that and that is what we want to do.
“We will attack and do what we can to score another goal over there, but we will also look to make sure that we defend the way that we did last night.
“We defended as a team and that is what we have to do at this level,” Dembele stated.
“You always just have to keep going. I knew there would be more chances because of the way that we were playing.
“We were creating a lot and the most important thing is not who scores, but that the team wins the game.
“Now we must keep the lead and to qualify. You always have to keep calm. It is only one game, so it is important we keep going.
“It was important that we had a clean sheet and now we also have the goal, too. It gives us a chance and we will go there confident and looking forward to it.
“But first we have to look to the St Johnstone game and then we can start to think about finishing this.
“We will need the same kind of performance again over in Russia, but we are confident that we can do that.”
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) February 16, 2018