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  • Ryan Christie: Leipzig was the best atmosphere I’ve played in

    Ryan Christie: Leipzig was the best atmosphere I’ve played in

    By: Joe Donnelly on 09 Nov, 2018 10:31

  • CELTIC overcame RB Leipzig in dramatic fashion on Thursday night, and Ryan Christie reckons it’s the best atmosphere he’s ever played in. The Hoops beat the Bundesliga outfit 2-1, scoring the winner immediately after conceding a late equaliser.

    An early goal from Kieran Tierney separated the sides at the break, and it wasn’t until the 78th minute that the visitors pulled level via a Jean-Kevin Augustin header. Less than 60 seconds later, Odsonne Edouard fired home in front of goal, sending Paradise into ecstasy in the process.   

    Influential midfielder Christie in now confident the Scottish champions can progress to the knockout stages of the UEFA Europa League.

    “That’s probably the best atmosphere I’ve played in in a Celtic shirt, and I loved every minute of it,” Christie said after the game. “I’m obviously delighted, not just for myself but for the whole team, to get the win which we were so desperate to get beforehand.

    "The win also opens up the group and we can take real confidence going into the next fixtures in this competition. We can definitely get out of the group, and while we’ve got a tough game away to Rosenburg, we’re back home again after that.

    "You’ve seen the impact the crowd had against Leipzig, and that gives us a real boost and can completely change the dynamic of games. Hopefully we can get a similar result against Salzburg too.”

    Christie praised the determination of the squad as a whole, and hailed the tireless efforts of the backroom staff in handling this season’s injuries. The 23-year-old stressed the importance of mental, physical and tactical preparation ahead of every game, and this ensures players coming into the team fully understand their role within it.

    Speaking of his own input, Christie is keen to keep pushing for success.

    “The past two weeks have been a bit of a whirlwind,” he said. “I was happy to eventually get scoring, to get in the team against Hearts in the semi-final, and ever since then I’ve been lucky enough to keep my place in the team and be part of a winning team.

    “This is such an easy team for me to come into. The likes of Scott Sinclair, James Forrest, Tom Rogic, Callum McGregor, even with the injuries we’ve got, everyone’s playing so well and everyone’s on at the top of their game. There’s a real confidence about us at the moment and we have that winning mentality back."

    On the night, it was Christie’s inch-perfect pass across goal that allowed Odsonne Edouard to score the matchwinner. The midfielder said it speaks to the team’s hunger to lead for so much of the game, and to get back in front so quickly after conceding.

    “This first goal was a huge goal and well-worked goal,” he said. “It’s a great finish from KT so all credit to him. I think it calmed us down a bit at the start. There was real pressure on us before the game, so we were delighted to get that goal and take the lead.

    “Around 20 minutes before half-time, it was a hundred miles an hour game, and no-one really put a foot on it. That’s what it’s like sometimes in this competition, you need to make sure you’re not giving away any silly goals or silly chances.

    "We’re happy with that going into half-time, and the second half was all about having a hunger and desire to go and outrun and out-battle Leipzig. I think that’s what got us over the line in the end.

    “We were delighted to respond in such a way, again Kieran and Scott down the left – I’m really enjoying playing on the left-hand side of midfield because we’ve got so much quality link-up, it’s easy to come into. Of course, tonight, Eddy finding himself in front of goal to tap in is a brilliant response. Straightaway that gave us the response we needed, to go again, to look after the lead and get ourselves over the line.

    “We’ve been saying that together in the changing room, we really do feel confident going into every game. It’d be a great way to finish this run of games we’ve had if we go to Livingstone and get a result.

    “That’s what we’re looking to do and, if results go our way, we can jump top of the league again, which would be brilliant going into the international break.”

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