CALLUM McGREGOR has hailed Celtic’s new Three Amigos after the entrancing – and nerve-shredding – 3-2 Europa League Group G win over Ferencvaros in Budapest last night.
Kyogo Furuhashi, Filipe Jota and Liel Abada – the current team’s answer to Tommy Burns’ spellbinding trio of Pierre van Hooijdonk, Jorge Cadete and Paolo di Canio – shared the goals in the crucial victory in the Hungarian capital.
Captain McGregor, pulling the strings in the middle of the park with Nir Bitton doing an excellent job in the anchorman role, got a close-up view at the swashbuckling qualities of his formidable attacking threesome.
NUMBER ONE…Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada celebrate the Japanese striker’s opening strike against Ferencvaros.
NUMBER TWO…Filipe Jota fires in his long-range cracker.
The Hoops’ onfield leader said: “The front three are outstanding – we have a really strong front unit and they all got goals. They were lethal. You see it in transitions, they take off and they’ve got quality.
“It’s not just movement, it’s the speed and they have the accuracy that they can do what they want to do. The finishes are top level, so it’s brilliant for these guys to be producing.
“That’s the way the manager wants us to play – to expose teams, keep them high, then when we get the ball to accelerate the attack.
“Kyogo has been brilliant, his movement is so difficult to deal with, and when he has a chance to finish, he finishes as well.
“His hairdo? It’s all right. It’s quite nice. You’d think it would be easier for defenders to mark him now, but maybe not!”
NUMBER THREE…Liel Abada prepares to fire the winner beyond Adam Bogdan.
HEAVENS ABOVE…Liel Abada reflects on his matchwinner.
Following back-to-back triumphs over the Hungarian champions, the Hoops are on six points, four adrift of pacesetters Bayer Leverkusen, who romped to a 4-0 win over Real Betis in Germany. The Spanish side are on seven points and are in Ange Postecoglou’s side’s crosshairs.
The La Liga outfit, who came from two goals down to win 4-3 in Seville in September, visit Parkhead on Thursday December 9 for what could be another fabulous European night under the lights in the east end of Glasgow.
Before that, though, the Hoops travel to Leverkusen on November 25 for a return fixture against Jeremie Frimpong’s club who, of course, notched a 4-0 victory at Parkhead, a result that was hardly a true reflection on the play over 90 minutes.
McGregor, speaking to the Celtic website, added: “We have a tough two games left, but it puts us right in the mix for the group.
“When the group was drawn we knew how tough it would be, looking at these two fixtures being key ones for us and that’s where we are.
“The performance and result gives us belief we can finish strongly in the group. We carried a threat through the game, defended well when we had to, and it was a good night for us.”