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  • James Forrest: Lazio win was an incredible feeling

    James Forrest: Lazio win was an incredible feeling

    By: Joe Donnelly on 08 Nov, 2019 09:20

  • HAVING lost an early goal in Rome, it was James Forrest that fired Celtic level against Lazio with a sublime finish on 38 minutes at the Stadio Olympico. With just seconds of play remaining, five minutes into second-half added time, an equally wonderful strike from Olivier Ntcham secured all three points for the Scottish champions on the road.

    The victory sees the Hoops top Group E of the UEFA Europa League, and secure progression to the competition’s knockout round of 32  

    “I can’t really sum up how I feel after that,” said goalscorer Forrest after the game. “It’s a great night and great result, it has to be up there with the best I’ve ever had. The players, and everyone on the bench, you saw their reactions at the end, everyone put in such a good shift from start to finish. We really deserved it with all the effort we put in.

    “Maybe the first 10-15 minutes, we didn’t do ourselves justice – but after that, we really showed that we can play football at this level. We worked really hard, and while big Fraser kept us in the game at times, I still felt we could have scored more. It’s such a great night, it’s unbelievable and it’s a great feeling.

    “It was important to get us back on to level terms. We had a few chances before the goal, but scoring made sure we went into the break full of belief. We also carried that into the second half, but as the match wore on, it looked like we were going to draw 1-1. And then it was a great piece of skill from Olly right at the death. There were incredible scenes at the end.”

    When Ntcham converted the last-gasp match-winner, the travelling Celtic support erupted, and the players on the pitch were met by those rushing from the visitors’ technical area.  

    Forrest added: “When you see the reaction from the staff and players, that shows you the team-spirit in this side. That’s what you need when you get big results. To be four games into the group, we couldn’t have imagined it going much better than what it has done.

    “When the group was drawn, the three teams we drew, we knew every game was going to be hard. I don’t think anyone in the changing room thought we would have qualified so soon, never mind having played with the level of performances that we have. That’s credit to the staff and players, and everyone involved at the club.

    “It was great that the boys could share the moment with the fans at the end of the game. Even before the game, when you go out for the warm up and see all the Celtic fans there, that gives us a huge boost. For 90 minutes, you knew they were there and that makes a difference.

    “Lazio have gone on and had really good results since we won in Glasgow, but we know that if we keep working on our own game, keep playing our own game, we’re capable of winning games like this. Winning three points here is a great moment for us.”

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