MATT O’RILEY hailed Kyogo Furuhashi’s movement as “the best I’ve ever played with” after the Celts combined again to devastating effect in the 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid last night.
Not even four minutes were on the clock when the midfielder and the fleet-footed striker joined forces to give the Hoops a dream start in their Champions League Group E encounter at Parkhead.
There was a quickfire exchange of passes between the players before O’Riley sent a ball into an exposed area in the Spaniards’ penalty box.
Kyogo was onto it in a flash to take a touch before lifting the ball beyond the right hand of lunging keeper Jan Oblak.
PICK IT OUT…Kyogo Furuhashi dinks the ball past Atletico Madrid keeper Jan Oblak.
It was reminiscent of the one-two between the team-mates that carved open the Lazio rearguard earlier in the month when the prolific hitman netted a 12th-minute opener.
Unfortunately, a header deep in stoppage-time from Pedro gave the Serie A visitors an unlikely victory.
Similarly, the hosts were denied a victory against Diego Simeone’s side when the visitors twice came back to gain a valuable point with the teams going head to head again a week on Tuesday in the Spanish capital.
O’Riley turned in another Man of the Match show against La Liga high flyers Atletico and, reflecting on the evening’s work, said: “We’re a little disappointed, but they are a good team and it was a tough game.
“However, I think, especially in the first-half, we were really good. In the second-half, we came out a little bit slow and lost a little bit of control.
EURO STAR…Matt O’Riley gives his verdict of the 2-2 draw with Atletico Madrid. Image courtesy Celtic TV.
“I think these games a lot of the time are about managing momentum. There were times when we could have stayed a bit calmer and not forced it, but I thought the performance was pretty good.”
Looking at his double-act with Kyogo, the Danish international playmaker, speaking to Celtic TV, added: “I think you’ve seen it in the past that we’ve got quite a good relationship in terms of understanding each other’s movement.
‘So, as soon as he played me, I knew where he was going to run because his movement is the best I’ve ever played with, so it’s pretty easy to play with him.
“I know we didn’t win, but we know that we’re more than capable of performing at this level and I think we showed that again against a very good team with very good players.
“We’re still in, and we’ve got a point on the board now.”