Wednesday, April 17, 2024

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HomeChampions LeagueBrendan Rodgers: Celtic can match top-level teams

Brendan Rodgers: Celtic can match top-level teams

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers praised his team’s “excellent performance” following a 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid in the Champions League.

Celtic was in the lead twice during the first half with goals from Kyogo Furuhashi and Luis Palma. Palma scored shortly after Antoine Griezmann netted the rebound from his own penalty.

In the first half, Celtic played with speed, determination, and confidence, resulting in two well-crafted goals. However, they couldn’t maintain the same pace in the second half, and Alvaro Morata equalized eight minutes into that half.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said: “I thought it was a terrific performance, especially the first 45 minutes – the quality of our football, the speed in our pressing and in our game, everything we would want.

“We were unfortunate with the penalty. One, it was very harsh, and, two, they got the good fortune after the save hits the post and comes straight to the player.

“But our reaction was superb, everything I wanted in terms of playing together, pressing and the intensity and a really aggressive mentality and then having the courage to play.

“We expected them second half to have a spell in the game but they didn’t create so much. Their equaliser was fantastic, the early cross and great finish.

“But we kept fighting and showed we can compete with a top-level team.

“It will give us confidence to know we can create opportunities and play the football we want to play. The team pressed the game well and passed it for a lot of the game.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers: It was really a big performance

Rodgers mentioned that Reo Hatate had a hamstring injury, causing his early substitution for Paulo Bernardo in the first seven minutes. He admitted that sustaining the high intensity for a full 90 minutes was challenging.

Even with Atletico reduced to 10 men in the 82nd minute, Celtic didn’t appear likely to take the lead for the third time.

The Manager added: “There’s a wee bit of tiredness that comes in the last 20 minutes because we are not used to playing at that tempo and against that level of opponent, so naturally a wee bit of fatigue kicks in. We also had to make an early sub with Reo’s injury.

“It was a really big performance but we couldn’t quite get the result we were looking for.”

Celtic currently sit at the bottom of the group with just one point from three games. They have upcoming matches in Madrid and against Lazio, who have four points in the group.

Rodgers said: “We wanted to get three points but if you can’t get the win then don’t lose it, and I don’t think we looked like losing. I can see development for sure.

“We have shown we can perform and we go into the other three trying to get as many points as we can and see where it takes us.”

Alex Lundy
Alex Lundy
A lifelong football fan, Alex loves to dabble in its history, especially FIFA World Cup. But his love for sports doesn't end at football since he loves watching NBA and Formula1 too. Reading novels and watching classic films takes the rest of his time.
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