“To play to that level against an outstanding side, we were brilliant,” Brendan Rodgers

So Celtic reach the half-way point our Champions League Group and find ourselves after three games bottom with just one point, picked up last night at Celtic Park against Atletico, the dark arts masters from Madrid. It was meagre return from the three matches, especially the two at Celtic Park which could and probably should have seen a six points return with Celtic sitting in a very strong position going into the reverse fixtures.

Last night Celtic scored two brilliant goals, and conceded two highly avoidable ones. Even the outcome of their penalty kick was unlucky in the extreme with Joe Hart’s save from the penalty hitting the post before rolling back to a relieved Antoine Griezmann to tap into the empty net.

And for their second half equaliser Greg Taylor hesitation in going to win the loose ball was the key incident that allowed Atletico to leave Glasgow with a point. Celtic couldn’t take advantage of their sending off and why was Oh left on the bench when we needed a goal?

Brendan Rodgers was proud of his players afterwards and rightly so, that first 45 minutes was as good as we have seen a Celtic side play at this level for a very long time.

“I thought we were absolutely superb in the game. Obviously we scored two outstanding goals and for that first 45 minutes against a top team we were great. Like you say they’ve got big quality so you always expect that but I think the guys they kept fighting and kept working right till the very end.

“It was a brilliant performance and I think to play to that level against a talented side shows the growth of the team.

“I thought everything from our defending pretty much together was fantastic and the obviously with the ball the players showed immense courage to take the ball and pass it at speed and to open up what is notoriously a very difficult team to open up so everything we want to see in a game we’ve seen,” Brendan Rodgers said.

“I thought we were outstanding. To play to that level against an outstanding side, we were brilliant.

“We showed immense courage to take the ball and pass it at speed, to try to open up a very difficult team. It was everything you wanted to see (from Celtic).

“But (late on) I could see our back line getting stretched so we made changes, we went to 3-5-2. We were starting to fatigue from the tempo of the game, it’s not what we’re used to. We got a very good point from this and we take that into our next game. This is a tough group for us – I believe we should have more points – but I thought our performance was outstanding,” the Celtic manager added.

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About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor David Faulds has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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