Celtic star Ryan Christie inspired by Kevin De Bruyne masterclass

Celtic and Scotland midfielder Ryan Christie. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
Celtic and Scotland midfielder Ryan Christie. Picture: Craig Foy/SNS
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Ryan Christie hailed inspirational Kevin De Bruyne after the Belgium midfielder dominated Monday’s 4-0 win over Scotland at Hampden Park.

The Red Devils captain set up first-half goals for Romelu Lukaku, Thomas Vermaelen and Toby Alderweireld as the visitors ruthlessly punished errors by Steve Clarke’s side in their 2020 European Championship qualifier.

The Manchester City attacker curled in a fourth in the 82nd minute to leave Scotland relying on March’s Nations League play-offs for their chance to make the Euro finals next summer.

Christie said: “He is a class act. These are the kind of players that I aspire to.

The Celtic attacking midfielder added: “He is in a similar position to me. The positions he picks up and the way he hurts teams and his finishing as well.

“The ball in for their second goal was frightening and his finish for the fourth is pretty impressive as well.

“I want to test myself against the best teams in the world so it is a learning experience for me so hopefully I learn from it and move on.”

Scotland are now in fifth place in Group I, above only minnows San Marino who are bottom without a point.

Steve Clarke’s play Russia away and San Marino at home next month, before Cyprus away and Kazakhstan at home in November and Christie, picture, insists he is still confident of Scotland qualifying for a major finals for the first time since 1998.

He added: “Going into it (the campaign) we had the play-offs as a fall-back, we didn’t want to have to use it but it looks like we’re going to have to.

“We still feel close as a group.

“We have taken more of the manager’s ideas on board.

“I know it sounds daft getting beat 4-0 at home but I think there are a few positives we can take from that.

“It is the minor things that cost you at this level in football, especially against a team like Belgium.

“They scored in their first counter attack. It is so tough to nullify and the quality they have when they go forward is outstanding.

“That is the level we are 
trying to get to.

“We have four games left in the group to finish as high as we can and take that into the play-off.”