Celtic overwhelmed their visitors for a first Group G victory that moves them three points above them before the sides met again in Budapest in a fortnight. And the fully deserved success was delivered by Celtic driving on across the closing stages despite Callum McGregor having a penalty saved on the hour mark.
“Every game [we need the intensity],” he said, praising his team’s defensive line and the “brilliant” finish from Kyogo Furuhashi for the 57th minute opener. “Whether it is Europe at Celtic Park or home or away in the league, that’s how we want to be. It’s not easy to play that way, though. I acknowledge that and I think sometimes people who analyse us should acknowledge that, too. It’s not easy and it takes time. If you look at how the best teams play, it doesn’t happen overnight and we are just starting to get into a place where we are laying some foundations down. We have a lot of improvement to do, but the basic underlying theme is we want to be relentless in our football and approach and I thought even before I came here that’s what this football is all about. That is what supporters want to see.
“I apologise to all the employers who had little productivity today as they were missing people and schools may have been empty, but they come here, create an energy and we have to match that with our football. When we have that, and it’s happened in the past for sure, you become a formidable force. There’s no reason why we can’t [win in Budapset]. We went to Betis and took the game to them [in the 4-3 defeat]. I know we lost it having made a couple of mistakes defensively, but that gave us belief we can match the best teams even away from home.”