The German press were full of praise for Celtic and Parkhead as Brendan Rodgers’ men defeated RB Leipzig with a fine performance, bringing themselves back into contention to reach the Europa League knockout stages.
Leading German sports magazine Kicker admitted that Celtic’s win was “surprising but not undeservedly” so, impressed with the team’s reaction to taking the lead early on.
“The goal provided a visible reaction among both teams: While RB pulled out and repeatedly offered room to counter-attack through errors in midfield, the hosts increased the tempo significantly.”
Celtic’s approach to the game and general attitude was widely praised in the German press.
Bild’s Yvonne Gabriel said about the opening goal: “Celtic executed a lightning fast free-kick, while Leipzig are still adjusting.”
And added: “The Scots were initially snappier than Leipzig. They won almost all important duels, also have better chances.”
The writer was not impressed with the German side, starting the match report with one word: ‘Schnarch’ - which translates as snore.
Leipzig were said to have a “sleepy appearance” and called the team only coming alive in the second half as “incomprehensible”.
Guido Schafer said Celtic “were more awake, faster, better” in Leipziger Volkszeitung, while Suddeutsche Zeitung commended the Glasgow side’s “fiercely fighting players”.
Two individuals in particular were pinpointed as key men by Kicker.
They wrote: “The speedy (James) Forrest, in particular, repeatedly presented (Marcel) Halstenberg, who had earlier replaced the injured (Marcelo) Saracchi, with problems. The lively (Odsonne) Edouard also caused danger in the RB penalty area on several occasions.”
Leipzig coach Ralf Rangnick lambasted his side in the press as the team’s ten game unbeaten record came to an end.
“We have defended negligently on both goals,” he said. “If you make up for it (going behind) with so much effort, you can not concede another goal within ten seconds.”
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Midfielder Marcel Sabitzer appeared to be taking part in a different game.
“We were clearly better,” he figured. “We had quality on the pitch and had huge moments. That annoys me extremely.”
His assertion was not supported by Suddeutsche Zeitung, one of the biggest and most popular newspapers in Germany.
“RB Leipzig has to sweat to progress in the Europa League after an annoying setback in Glasgow,” they wrote.
It was a lament after the away side were initially “unfazed by the impressive backdrop at Celtic Park at first, the Leipzig players started the game in a highly aggressive manner”.
Yet, as the game transpired they recognised that even if the German team had their strongest attackers it would have made little difference such was the difficulty in breaking down Celtic.
They said: “In the front, moments were clearly missing due to the absence of (German) international Timo Werner (toe bruise) and Yussuf Poulsen (back problems). Both strikers would have gotten no opportunities due to lack of creativity of the Leipzig.”
As ever Celtic Park came in for much praise. RB Leipzig had taken their largest away contingent for a European match with 2,200 making their way to Glasgow. Kicker stated: “Many Leipzigers did not want to miss this experience!”
And it appears the ground’s mystique was not lost on the German press with some reports referring to the stadium as a ‘Hexenkessel’ - a witch’s cauldron.
However, Schafer in Leipziger Volkszeitung best described the experience.
“Sorry, Borussia Dortmund, sorry Besiktas, but Celtic Park and the Celts top everything that RB has experienced since its inception in 2009.
“The fans of the Scots live up to their reputation as the world’s best fanatics, driving their Bhoys in Green for 94 minutes to the deserved victory, celebrating every duel, profane interjections and corners.
“They also celebrate themselves, their loyalty, their songs. The history of the cult club, founded in 1888 by the Irish clergyman Brother Walfrid, looms over everything, the score is decorating accessories, the big picture more important.
“Celtic season tickets are traded like gold dust and carry the inscription: “A Club Like No Other” - a club like no other.”