Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers believes their Champions League draw with Manchester City underlines how much they have improved since his arrival.
Rodgers’ men led three times in the exciting 3-3 draw in Glasgow, but ultimately had to settle for a first point in Group C. They opened the group with a 7-0 defeat in Barcelona, but ended City’s incredible 100% run under new boss Pep Guardiola.
“Tonight is hopefully a good marker of how much the players have improved in a short space of time,” said Rodgers. “But I know there is a long way to go in terms of where we want to be.
“This was a great performance from the team, and will give them huge confidence. It is another vindication of how we’ve been working. We felt we could have won but we’re happy with a point. Collectively, we were outstanding.
“There’s no doubt that was a big performance. I’m sure Pep [Guardiola] will recognise that it was really difficult night for them.
“They are top-class team with a top-class manager, who has coached them really well.
“But how our players pressed the game and forced Man City into mistakes. That was a great credit to my team.”
Despite the fact that Rodger’s side lost their lead 3 times, he was keen to focus on the positives out of what was an extremely impressive performance.
Dembele continues to impress:
Moussa Dembele took his tally to seven goals in his last six games and 12 for the season with a cheeky flick with his chest to open the scoring before putting the hosts 3-2 ahead with an incredible show of acrobatics, finishing the goal with his back to it.
“We’re very fortunate to have him,” Rodgers said. “He’s been like that since he’s come in [this summer]. He really bullied the Man City back four but he’s more than that.
“He’s got a wonderful touch. You saw his agility for the third goal. He’s got power, he’s got pace and now he’s a huge talent. He was outstanding tonight.
“The pressure that we put Manchester City under, the quality of our play, the goals we scored – it was a real good level of performance.”
Celtic’s other goal came via a Raheem Sterling deflection of Kieran Tierney’s cross, with the England winger also scoring at the other end along with Fernandinho and Nolito in a seesaw encounter.
“The support was absolutely amazing,” Rodgers added, in reference to the safe standing area of the stadium, which once again showed an electric atmosphere.