Betis boss Pellegrini praises Celtic keeper Hart after UEL goal-fest

By Euan Davidson

September 17, 2021

Real Betis manager Manuel Pellegrini has picked out Joe Hart for praise, from a “very good” Celtic team.

Betis came out on top against Celtic in a back-and-forth, humdinger of a match. With the Bhoys attacking relentlessly under Ange Postecoglou, the experienced La Liga side and their wily coach countered devastatingly after going 2-0 down.

Pellegrini, who could count on Nabil Fekir, Sergio Canales, William Carvalho and other quality, experienced players, picked out one of his former charges for praise.

Joe Hart, despite conceding 4 times, made as many quality, diving saves to keep the Bhoys in the game at crucial times [FotMob]. Pellegrini, who had another ex-Manchester City goalkeeper in Claudio Bravo, praised Celtic and Hart after a breathless encounter.

He said [Marca]:

“…we were facing a great from Scotland, who normally plays the Champions League, who wins titles in [their] country or is always in the Europa League.

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Real Betis 4-3 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

Real Betis 4-3 Celtic | LIVE Reaction

“[A team] with good players, a very good team. [It’d be] difficult, we knew it before we started.

“The fact of having played so badly those first 25 minutes where they had all the space and the ball, I think gives double merit to the victory.

“We had at least three or four [shots] that Joe Hart saved very well in the first half. We didn’t convert them, but at least we managed to even the score. [After that] we corrected in the second half and went 4-2 to win.”

Pellegrini had respect for Celtic and Joe Hart, not least after going 2 down on the night

We know the name of Celtic is appreciated and respected Europe-wide. Eventually, the results will return that back, and even add, to the reputation we have.

Pellegrini was always going to be a tough customer. Wily, experienced and a winner, the Chilean manager has had some top jobs in football for very good reason. Even at 2-0 down, you know he would’ve had a plan to win the game.

It’s a shame that Joe Hart couldn’t topple the ‘keeper who’d end up replacing him at Manchester City.

Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

However, with players surely back and more cohesion in the group, there’s reason to believe that in December, at home, we can reverse this result.

As Anthony Ralston says, there’s more to come from this squad. That includes Hart, who wore the armband last night and has proved he’s still a top-quality keeper.

Pellegrini will be aware that it’ll be even tougher for him at Celtic Park come the winter.

In other news: Anthony Ralston says there’s far more to come from Celtic under Postecoglou