STILIYAN PETROV, John Hartson and Henrik Larsson have all praised Celtic for their outstanding performance against a world class Bayern Munich at Celtic Park last night. The Hoops came in for criticism for their ‘passive’ display in their previous home match in Group B against Paris Saint Germain when the French side ran out comfortable 5-0 winners.
But Bayern faced a very different kind of Celtic performance last night and can regard themselves as exceptionally lucky to leave Glasgow with the three points after a 2-1 victory.
“Celtic played very well, they gave Bayern Munich a very tough game,” Petrov told the Alan Brazil on Talk Sport this morning.
“They played with speed, they played with flair, which is something Brendan Rodgers has instilled in the players over the last two seasons, so a performance like that wasn’t surprise.
“In general, they’ve played against two teams in Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich who are in the top six teams in the world, so I don’t think they should beat themselves up.
“I think they should be proud of their performance and they should look forward more to the next stage in the Europa League.”
Meanwhile Henrik Larsson was delighted to see a huge improvement in his old side after his disappointment at what he regarded as a ‘passive performance’ against PSG in September.
“They can be proud of the way they handled themselves. It’s just a shame they made the mistake for the first goal,” Larsson said.
“That goal was too easy. If the ball is there to be headed, just go and head it.
“The equaliser was great. They kept a hold of the ball and it was a great finish from Callum McGregor.
“For the second Bayern goal, if they could have stopped the cross earlier that would have been good, but it was a great header.”
“It’s a question of Celtic believing: ‘Can we do this at this level?’
“Right from the start, they believed. Last time I saw them against PSG, they were too passive, but this time they were positive.”
And another Celtic legend from that great Martin O’Neill side singled out one player for particular praise, and no wonder.
John Hartson raved about James Forrest’s display against Bayern Munich – and reckons he has given Brendan Rodgers a selection headache.
“Celtic had a great start and were positive. The way they responded to losing the goal was very good.
“James Forrest took his game to a different level. Everything he did was brilliant and Brendan has a decision to make when Pat Roberts come back because Forrest made a big statement on this occasion.
“He’s set the bar for himself and had to do it week in week out from now on. His pass for the goal was incredible.
“They players didn’t look overawed. They were on the front foot from the start. Kieran Tierney, Callum McGregor and Forrest were outstanding.
“I thought Celtic were excellent in the first-half. They were disappointed with the setback of losing the goal and Boyata had to head the ball – he can’t let it travel 60 yards then let it bounce.
“I don’t know if Craig Gordon could have come, but he was all at sea. He didn’t know if should come for it or not.”
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