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  • 5 quick-fire talking points from an excellent Euro display

    5 quick-fire talking points from an excellent Euro display

    By: Newsroom Staff on 07 Aug, 2019 22:01

  • CELTIC secured an impressive 1-1 draw in Romania against CFR Cluj in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League thid round qualifying tie. Here, we look at five talking points from an excellent European away performance from Neil Lennon's side.

    MAN OF THE MATCH
    Kristoffer Ajer was superb in the heart of the Celtic defence, and was once again celebrating a defensive intervention when, after just six minutes, he blocked a dangerous low ball across the six-yard box to prevent what would have been a certain goal for Cluj. As well as being impressive defensively, Ajer was also superb when Celtic were on the front foot, showing an excellent range of passing to help his team-mates take the game to their Romanian opponents. All in all, an excellent game from the Norwegian defender.

    EURO BOW
    Hatem Abd Elhamed made his first European appearance for Celtic in the Dr Constantin Radulescu Stadium, in Cluj, and having impressed in the 7-0 Flag Day win over St Johnstone on Saturday, the Israeli internationalist produced another superb performance in the right-back role. The 28-year-old looks assured on the ball going forward, while he was alert defensively throughout the night before he was replaced by his countryman in the 87th minute.

    GOLDEN GOAL
    James Forrest’s left-foot strike on 37 minutes restored parity in the game and gave the Hoops a vital away goal. It was the winger’s first competitive goal of the new campaign, having netted 17 last season, and it emphasised yet again his importance to Celtic on what was his 86th European appearance for the club. It was also his eighth Euro goal for the Hoops and could prove vital in helping the Hoops reach the play-off round of the UEFA Champions League.

    SAFE HANDS
    Scott Bain produced a couple of vital saves in the second epriod to prevent Cluj restoring the lead, and he was a solid presence as the last line of defence for Celtic. His save on 51 minutes prevented the Romanian side getting an early foothold in the second-half, while the goalkeeper would have been pleased with the men in front of him for keeping the home side at bay.

    THE LAST WORD
    Speaking after the match in Romania, Neil Lennon said: 'We’ve got to be delighted with the away goal. I thought we looked good moving forward throughout the game. I was delighted with our attacking intent, and I thought we defended resolutely throughout the game as well.'

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