CALLUM McGREGOR marked his 150th appearance for Celtic with a magnificent matchwinning goal in another special European evening at Parkhead.

The 24-year-old midfielder’s perfectly-executed volley in the 78th minute gave the Hoops a well-deserved 1-0 victory over Zenit St Petersburg in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 encounter.

McGregor heaped praise on his team-mate Charly Musonda for his part in the build-up to the special strike.

He said: “First and foremost, it was a great team performance. I’m obviously delighted with my performance as well and to get the goal to win the game was excellent.

“Charly has the quality and he’s shown that since he’s come in. He spotted a great pass and lofted one over.

“It was a great pass and as I’ve tried to control it I’ve stumbled off balance a wee bit.

“It was a good touch to control it and I’ve taken a swing at it and, thankfully, it went in.

“I’m obviously delighted to get the finish. That’s something I always add to my game is goals all the time and goals in big games.

“That’s where you’re judged, so it was great again to get another goal.”

McGregor was also quick to point out that the impressive performance was down to Brendan Rodger’s plotting.

He added: “It was an excellent game-plan and the boys carried it out really well.

“High pressing is the way we want to play, especially on these nights when you get the crowd behind you and can make the opposition a bit nervy.

“I think we set the tempo with that, we got up and pressed them and when we had the ball we played really well.

“Going into the game, 0-0 to take over there would have been a good result, so we’re delighted to get the goal.

“We can be confident going into next week and we know we can get a good result.”


About Author


Acclaimed author Alex Gordon wrote the biography of Scotland international legend Denis Law, entitled 'King and Country'. He is a former columnist with World Soccer magazine and Scottish correspondent of respected European journal L'Equipe.

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