"Outwitted by Kyogo" in a "hurricane of noise"; what the Dutch media are saying about brilliant Celtic
Dutch media outlets were full of praise for Celtic, Kyogo Furuhashi and the support last night as the Bhoys ran out 2-0 winners over AZ Alkmaar.
Ange Postecoglou’s team have taken a massive step towards qualification for the group stages of the UEFA Europa League with the result. The job isn’t quite completed yet with a very tough away leg to follow next Thursday. However, there’s plenty of reasons to be optimistic about our chances.
Newspaper De Telegraaf seemed particularly impressed with the ability of Celtic to be ruthless in front of goal, stating: “Precisely after the flashy Alkmaar opening, the ball was already in the net down the other end at the first Celtic chance. A few AZ players defended as pupils, lost the ball to Tom Rogic, who swept the ball at the far post from the left flank. There Bruno Martins Indi was outwitted by Kyogo Furuhashi, the Japanese who has been one-for-one for the Bhoys in six matches since his arrival at Parkhead. Again an old football law presented itself. Whoever forgets to reward himself in Europe will sooner or later be turned upside down.”
Meanwhile, Noordhollands Dagsblad led with the atmosphere created by a sold out Celtic Park, going with the headline: “Europa League far away for AZ: team is empty-handed against Celtic in a hurricane of noise.”
They continued in the article, suggesting that the crowd may have made the away team cower last night, explaining: “Celtic away is not a match for ‘newbies’. The names on Celtic’s match sheet may not have immediately caused the AZ players to bend at the knees; the atmosphere at Celtic Park is another story. Nearly 60,000 elated fans created an atmosphere that has rarely been felt in football stadia. For AZ, after all those empty or moderately filled stadia, an unfamiliar environment.”
Voetbal International appeared to reckon that AZ Alkmaar were actually lucky to escape from Glasgow with just a two-goal deficit, writing: “AZ started a final offensive in the hope of narrowing the deficit with a view to the return, but that did not work. It was even lucky that Celtic did not score a third goal, when Verhulst and Bruno Martins Indi cleared the ball off the line in a perilous moment in front of the goal.”
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There’s no doubt that at times throughout the 90 minutes that Celtic rode a bit of luck. But that’s what European football is. We came through those periods, showed our quality in the final third and then resolutely closed out the game without conceding. That’s exactly how to do it at this level.
The away game might be a different prospect altogether. But I’m confident Ange Postecoglou will set out his team the same way and try to cause AZ as many problems as we did last night. If nothing else it’ll be an exciting ride and I can’t wait.
In other news, Celtic agree fee for striker Georgios Giakoumakis.