Celtic’s performance against Atletico Madrid last night certainly proved they can compete with Europe’s elite on a one off basis. The opening 45 minutes had fans on the edge of their seats, heartened at the level of performance the Parkhead side displayed.
Matt O’Riley’s clever ball through to Kyogo for Celtic’s first goal was something to be admired. The home side didn’t lose faith as Antoine Griezmann equalized for Atletico fifteen minutes later. Luis Palma fired Celtic back in front with a blistering shot which sent the fans crazy and gave Celtic a crucial advantage at the break.
Diego Simeone made some tactical changes to his side in the second half, which prompted a change in the flow of the game and put Celtic on the back foot. The Spanish side got their reward when Morata leveled the match with a diving header.
Celtic manager, Brendan Rodgers said after the match.
” It’s a balance, isn’t it. It’s intense, it’s pressing, it’s playing the football you want to play but you also have to be organised within that. You’re playing against outstanding teams and I think you can see the progress of the team. You’ll always have critics, people throw stats at everything.
It doesn’t really bother me. My only focus and worry is having this team and being able to be competitive at this level of which is a really really high level.”
Up next for Celtic on the European stage is the return trip to Madrid to meet Diego Simeone’s side once again, where three points is the only option if the Glasgow side want to continue the European journey beyond Christmas.