ANTHONY RALSTON insisted Celtic “always believe” even when the odds are stacked against them.

The champions looked to be heading for a draw and two dropped points against Dundee United when Dylan Levitt’s freakish left-wing cross was missed by Moritz Jenz and Tony Watt as it sailed past the startled Joe Hart.

That effort – and the controversial penalty-kick from Steven Fletcher – wiped out Sead Haksabanovic’s first two goals for the club since arriving in August in a £1.7million bargain switch from Rubin Kazan.

THE EQUALISER…Joe Hart is flat out and Cameron Carter-Vickers slumps to his knees as Dylan Levitt’s left-wing cross finds a way through to make it 2-2 in the fading moments at Parkhead.

Only three minutes remained of a VAR-interrupted confrontation and the Hoops were tasked once more to react to a late rallying call.

As they had done in Perth against St Johnstone last month when they conceded late and Giorgos Giakoumakis claimed the stoppage-time winner, the players rolled up their sleeves and pressed the restart button.

Just on scheduled full-time, Matt O’Riley, who had performed so well from the off, flighted over a right-wing corner-kick, Ralston got a crucial touch and Kyogo Furuhashi reacted with lightning speed to flash a header into the net from six yards.

In the third minute of added-on time, O’Riley swept a clever left-foot pass downfield and Liel Abada was onto in, raced into the box, composed himself and finished with a delightful lob to make the final score 4-2.

It’s all breathtaking stuff and Ralston said: “That’s the team spirit we need to have. We are a squad, not just a team of 11 players.

“We have got boys who sometimes don’t even come into the squad and they are there every day in training, so we are a collective and we have success together.

ON GUARD…Anthony Ralston and Cameron Carter-Vickers keep an eye on Dundee United double-act Dylan Levitt and Ryan Edwards.

“It’s not just about one or two people. We’re a club and a squad that is in it together and it was shown again with Kyogo going on and getting the potentially winning goal.

“Things like that, there are not any egos or any sort of heroes. As long as we keep that, we’ll go in the right direction.

“We had three minutes to react in that moment and we did it. And we’ve done it before. And it’s something we’ll need to keep doing because football is always going to challenge you.

“We were challenged in the game and we overcame it. We’ll be challenged again in the future and we’ll need to do the same.

“We always believe. You have seen it before and it is no coincidence. It is part of what we do and it’s how we work as a team.

“As long as we keep that, we will be fine.”

NUMBER ONE…Sead Haksabanovic celebrates his first Celtic goal.

THREE CHEERS…Kyogo Furuhashi, Liel Abada and Daizen Maeda celebrate the Japanese striker’s headed goal to make it 3-2 for the Hoops.

The Scotland international right-back, speaking to the Daily Record, added: “We don’t really see a game as over until it is finished.

“We were aware when the goal went in what we had to do. We’ve been there before and credit to the boys for keeping the right mindset and keeping going until the end.

“I flicked it on at the front post. It is something that we work on in training. It is important I get across the front post just in case the corner is underhit and I’m there.

“It is effective because it is hard to defend that second ball when it gets flicked on with the pace that is on it and Kyogo has done well to get a touch on it.

“But then we go on and get another one as well and that shows the mentality that, okay, we got potentially a last-minute winner, but we want to keep on going and get as many as we can.”

Celtic’s next task is to get three points from their visit to Fir Park to face Motherwell on Wednesday night while the final match before the World Cup break will be against Ross County at Parkhead on Saturday.

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