Celtic have been receiving plenty of praise from Sarajevo after their Champions League win last night.
The Hoops tore apart the Bosnian champions after an early scare. Mirko Oremus, one of the players to have come out with kind words, opened the scoring for the home side last night. Celtic were in no mood to hang around, however, and equalised five minutes later through Mikey Johnston. Second-half goals from Odsonne Edouard and Scott Sinclair sealed the win.
There remains a second leg still to come, but it would take a brave soul to bet against Neil Lennon’s men now. Celtic were as impressive away from home in Europe as they have been in a long time last night. It was an accomplished display, and they showed that they were just too classy for our first round qualification opposition.
That’s attracted some praise from several of the FK Sarajevo staff. Below, we round-up some of the quotes from the Bosnians on what they thought of the Hoops:
Besim Serbebic (Scottish Sun)
“Of course it will be very difficult for us at Celtic, but you never know what can happen in football. We will certainly not surrender. We have to acknowledge Celtic are a really good team. Their second goal stunned us. But we are proud of our efforts because we gave it our all.”
Mirko Oremus (The Scotsman)
“We played against a great team that regularly performs in European competitions and I can be pleased to answer this challenge.
“It was to be expected that they would dictate the pace, and we had several good counter-attacks which, unfortunately, we were unable to use.
“They (Celtic) showed the class and I congratulate them. In the draw (second leg), it will be harder, they will feel more comfortable in their field, but this game will be a great experience for us.”
Husref Musemic (The Scotsman)
“If you are unhappy, then that’s your problem. Celtic are a punishing team. When we were physically in the second half, the team’s concentration in defence also fell. I can not be dissatisfied because the players have done their best.”
Champions League win secures progression
There is no denying that Celtic are through. In order for Sarajevo to progress, they would have to win by a three-goal margin at Parkhead. In our last 34 European matches at Celtic Park, only PSG have ever won by three goals or more. Considering Celtic have never lost by that margin in the Champions League qualifiers, it looks a little unlikely.
But the Bosnians showed up well last night. They were a tad over-aggressive at times, but you certainly expected that given the quality difference between the sides.
The atmosphere that was generated by their fanbase was also extremely impressive too. It was certainly a hostile atmosphere in Bosnia, but fortunately, it was an ultimately successful first trip to Continental Europe this season.
It’s always nice to hear the opposition say nice words about you too. Celtic certainly earned them after last night’s display, even if not all Sarajevo players are too happy about it (Scottish Sun).
Results like this are what helps us build our reputation in European football. It’s not just a case of progressing to the next stage, it’s showing other countries the quality we have. Celtic did that in spades last night.
And now we press on to the second leg at Celtic Park. It’s an opportunity for Lennon to experiment, but he’ll want to keep the feel-good factor rolling, and another win next Wednesday would do just that.