BEAMING Brendan Rodgers applauded the Celtic fans after last night’s dramatic and thrilling 2-1 Europa League Group B triumph over RB Leipzig, a team who hadn’t concede a goal in over nine hours of action and had lost only one Bundesliga game.
An 11th-minute strike from Kieran Tierney had given the Hoops the interval advantage, but Jean-Kevin Augustin’s free header cancelled that out in the 77th minute.
Odsonne Edouard claimed the winner from close range only 14 seconds later to set up an exciting run-in to the section.
The champions have six points – the same as the Germans – while unbeaten RB Salzburg lead with 12 points. Rodgers’ team trail Leipzig on goal difference and the head-to-head after losing 2-0 to them a fortnight go.
Celtic travel to Trondheim to play Rosenborg on November 29 before hosting Salzburg in the last tie, but the Parkhead gaffer insisted the supporters kept them in with a chance of qualifying for the knock-out stages next year.
He said: “If you have never been to Celtic Park before, it is one of the most intimidating arenas in European football.
“Some of the best teams in the world have come here over the years and have suffered.
“The emotion in the stadium really helps us as a team and the supporters are very proud of their players.
“It was a very emotional game, our players fed off that and the supporters helped us to the victory.”
Asked if it had been the best win in the east end of Glasgow since arriving in May 2016, the Irishman responded: “I couldn’t argue against that if you look at the level of the opponent and our performance against that.
“People see pressure as negative, I said that the other day. This was a pressure game that we needed to win, but you seen the positivity in the team.
“What I was pleased with was the performance against a very good side, we played with no fear.”
The words of the former Liverpool manager were backed up by Anfield legend Michael Owen, who was working as a summariser for BT Sport.
He added: “They’ve given themselves a fighting chance of qualification and it was a typical game at Parkhead where you know you are going to get a great atmosphere as the fans get right behind their team.
“It’s probably the best atmosphere I have ever played in actually was at Celtic Park. It’s just a theatre for football.
“And it was a great performance, as well. They say the fans create the atmosphere, but Celtic gave them a lot to shout about right from the start. It was a great game.”