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  • Celtic's captain marvel led an impressive team performance

    Celtic's captain marvel led an impressive team performance

    By: Paul Cuddihy on 24 Nov, 2016 13:26

  • SCOTT Brown produced an impressive performance in the heart of Celtic’s midfield against Barcelona on Wednesday night, showing characteristic competitiveness and composure in equal measure which led his manager to describe his display as ‘outstanding’.

    The Hoops showed a vast improvement from the game against Barcelona in the Nou Camp earlier this season, pressing their Catalan opponents, creating chances and showing, once again, that they deserve to compete at this level.

    And Brendan Rodgers believes that, collectively, his team deserve great credit for their performance, despite losing 2-0, with Lionel Messi scoring both goals for the visitors.

    “Across the team we had very good performers,” the Celtic manager said. “Craig Gordon had one great save and looked composed and calm when he had to be I thought the two centre-halves were excellent, the two full-backs too, and the defence were up against the best three players in the world and I thought how they dealt with that was very good.

    “Scott Brown in central midfield was really aggressive and strong. The two midfield players, Stuart Armstrong and Tom Rogic, will keep getting better with the experience of playing at this level. Moussa was maybe not as clinical as what he was in the Man City game, but he’s still a good reference for the team. And Scott Sinclair was very good up until we had to take him off.

    “And I thought young Callum McGregor, who played left-back against Kilmarnock on Friday night, did very well tactically in the game on the right-hand side against Barcelona.”

    Sinclair had caused Barcelona problems down the left-hand side with his pace and trickery, but we was forced off at half-time after picking up a knock following a challenge from Jordi Alba. And his manager will now be hoping he can bounce back and be fit for this Sunday’s League Cup final against Aberdeen at Hampden.

    “We’ll see how he is,” Brendan Rodgers said. “He’s very robust so for him to come off, he was obviously hurt. He got caught breaking through so we’ll just have to see.

    “We didn’t want to take any risk. He was in pain and I know him well enough to know he’ll fight through pain but it just wasn’t one that we thought was worth the risk.

    “Overall I thought we played well enough and got into good areas and, hopefully, over time we’ll learn to do better and take the chances when they come.

    “I was proud of the team. It was a totally different game and we looked like we played without any fear, we pressed the game well and if we took some of our chances then it would have been a different game. But we’ve shown vast improvement, which is important.”

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