Celtic: "We didn't yield our football" in thrilling Europa League triumph over AZ Alkmaar says Ange Postecoglou

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou was left in awe of the reserves of energy his team unearthed to drag themselves through a pulsating and punishing examination in order to come away with a 2-0 first leg lead in their frenetic home Europa League play-off against AZ Alkmaar.

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou acknowledges AZ's Yukianri Sugawara at full time following his team's 2-0  Europa League play-off victory. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)
Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou acknowledges AZ's Yukianri Sugawara at full time following his team's 2-0 Europa League play-off victory. (Photo by Ross Parker / SNS Group)

A tie that teemed with opportunities for both teams, it was goals from Kyogo Furuhashi and James Forrest that made the difference to the scoreline - but only because of Celtic’s ability to hang tough inbetween their regular assaults on their opponents. A fifth straight win for Postecoglou was the reward for their endeavours, and the Celtic manager could only but admire his players’ fortitude and fight that accompanied their finesse against adept opponents.

“In the midst of a really heavy programme of football, the guys keep going to the well again and they keep producing. They were outstanding,” he said. “The spirit they showed tonight, when physically I think a few of them were pretty much running on empty, was great. They never stopped which is a great sign for me.

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"[Resilience] is all part of it. It is one thing wanting to play beautiful football, but you have got to roll your sleeves up and show that at times and we did that. We had to at times. We knew we would have to because they are a good team. The key to that is we didn’t yield our football, we didn’t try and change anything we were doing. We had to be brave on the ball and I thought we were.”

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