Celtic hero Matt O'Riley found something a "little annoying" about Denmark U21 debut

By David Walton

March 31, 2022

Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley has stated that Belgium under-21s got lucky against his Denmark side as he stated failure to beat them is “a little annoying”.

O’Riley is coming back to Parkhead in great spirits this week. Not only was he given a maiden call-up for the Danish under-21 side – he also made his debut. Indeed, O’Riley came on for the final 20 minutes of the 1-1 draw against the young Belgians.

The result means that Denmark still sit 9 points behind the Belgians in Euro under-21 qualifying having played 2 games less. Even so, the Danes remain in a good position to bag a playoff tie as they look set to run away with second place.

Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

But O’Riley clearly wasn’t overly satisfied with the result. And as he talked up his debut, it clearly irks him that Denmark weren’t able to get the 3 points. As quoted by the Daily Record, O’Riley said: “It was my first match, so I will definitely have to take the jersey home and hang it in my room. It’s something I’ll remember all my life. Now I am only 21 years old, so maybe there will be a senior international team match, which I can also look back on.

“My debut was fine. I might have been a little nervous before the match, but when I came on, it was just a normal match. I also had some good chances where I could have scored a goal with a little luck.

“I think Belgium was a bit lucky because we actually played really well. We also had some great chances in the last 20 minutes, so it’s a little annoying that we did not win, but it was still a good performance.”

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Matt O’Riley coming back feeling good about himself ahead of Rangers vs Celtic

The result wasn’t a particular fantastic one for Denmark. In truth, they’ll have wanted 3 points in order to ensure topping the group remained in their hands. Now, they’re likely looking for a favour from elsewhere that’s unlikely to arrive.

Even so, O’Riley and his Danish teammates remain in a good position to qualify for the Euros. It’s something he’ll be feeling optimistic about and will no doubt be excited to head off again in June.

It’s also good for Celtic supporters to see that Matt was a goal threat in his short cameo too. He certainly made the right impression on his manager Jesper Sorensen. Given the appraisal he’s given him after the international camp, you can expect Matt to be back in this summer.

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

More importantly for Celtic fans, he’s coming back in great spirits. He’s clearly on an emotional high having managed to make his debut. He’ll be in exactly the kind of spirits you want the Celtic players in before a game with Rangers.

It remains to be seen whether he starts at Ibrox of course. O’Riley has regularly started on the bench in recent weeks with Ange Postecoglou instead putting his faith in Reo Hatate.

But O’Riley will certainly have some role to play at Ibrox this weekend whether it’s from the start or the bench. That his morale has been given a major boost after the international break is great news for us.

In other news, Celtic can finally put an end to 2 tiring pro-rival narratives on Sunday