Celtic hunt in packs.
Leipzig possessed tremendous ability to switch the ball across the field with speed and accuracy. Celtic hunted the ball down, packs of players swooped on the man in possession, then often switched to the other side of the field, before swooping again.
This took oceans of energy, but most of all speed. How many times did you notice Callum McGregor or Ryan Christie scarper 30 yards at full pace, just to add defensive cover? This is why Leipzig created so few good chances until the latter stages of the game.
Leipzig can do nothing about Forrest.
All they could do with James Forrest is get close enough to concede a foul and receive a caution. The often showed James inside, but he can drop a shoulder and escape with the ball so well he was literally unplayable.
Tiredness before equaliser.
Before Leipzig’s equaliser the visitors had three substitutes on the field, whereas, Celtic persevered with the starting 11. Rogic, Sinclair, Forrest and especially Lustig were tired. I was desperate for Brendan to put fresh legs on. Forrest was still capable of tormenting the Leipzig defence, so I was surprised when he was replaced with 7 minutes left, but Sinclair and Rogic both made significant contributions in the final minutes.
Peter, get ready for the summer.
We know the script when it comes to French under-21 internationals. Leipzig could not get the ball off Odsonne Edouard inside the box. Could. Not. Get. The. Ball. Off. Him. There will be a clamour for this boy’s signature. I know it’s the last thing we want and how difficult it is to continue to go to the well and get the same results, but this one is in the post.
McGregor, Christie, Sinclair, Forrest and Rogic.
Yesterday I wrote that I wanted these five tested at this level. They determined Celtic’s entire structure and pace of play. The result was that we played our best football in Europe for a long time. They have already done the same to our domestic form. We will need Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham this season, but we cannot this midfield just to accommodate either of them.
Life’s great experiences!
The moment the stadium fell dark, bar spotlights on the centre circle, took my breath away. For the next five minutes, I was mesmerised. If life’s great experiences are truly priceless, the new light system at Celtic Park was worth every penny, whatever the cost. 60,000 people stood in awe, and there are a good few hardened cynics among them.
You and me have had some great times in recent years.