Rangers man Ianis Hagi has admitted that he’s “very upset” after his Romanian side were trounced 4-0 by Kris Ajer and Mo Elyounoussi’s Norway.
The Celtic pair both impressed against the Romanians, helping to dominate a game that never looked in any doubt as they continued their battle with Austria in their bid to top their Nations League group.
Hagi was hooked after the hour mark too as he failed to cut open a Norwegian side who were determined to bounce back after being knocked out of the Euro 2020 playoffs by Serbia last Thursday.
Ajer played 90 minutes in the contest whilst keeping a clean sheet, whilst Celtic’s Elyounoussi managed 84 minutes before being brought off in the closing stages.
And Hagi, as quoted by the Scotsman, was left fuming after the game.
“It is a result we did not expect, it is a big disappointment, but this is not the face of the national team. If we complain after every match, even after painful results, it’s not good. We just have to look to the national team’s next match.
“You should ask the manager about why we didn’t have chances. You run after the ball for four or five minutes then when you have it at your feet you can’t do anything. You lose your energy, your breath, and all you can do is draw a foul.
“I’m very upset so I don’t want to say anything stupid. Football is a collective sport. We didn’t play well, you could feel it on the pitch and I’m sure you could see it on TV.”
Hagi’s first derby on Saturday – he shouldn’t be underestimated
Yes, we love to poke fun at our rivals whenever we can, but if we truly want the bragging rights on Saturday, then we have to take all of their attacking threats seriously.
Hagi comes into that bracket. Even though he’s been inconsistent for Rangers this season, he certainly has an eye for a pass. Even in the loss to Norway last night, he still made three key passes, clocked by stat experts Who Scored. Hagi also has seven assists to his name with Rangers this season, so he must be watched if he does start at Parkhead (Transfermarkt).
However, in saying that, Ajer clearly got the better of him in this one. The Celtic ace wasn’t troubled whatsoever throughout the 90 minutes, with Romania failing to create any notable chances.
The fact Hagi had to be hooked with a substantial period of the game to go also shows you just how untroubled the Celtic stars were by his lack of an influence last night. It’s a nice morale victory to take into Saturday, but of course will have no bearing on the derby itself.
You’ll be lucky if Neil Lennon even cares a jot that Ajer and Moi came up trumps against Hagi last night. After all, Glen Kamara’s Finland won against an Ireland team with Shane Duffy in it last month. It hardly had an affect on our man’s displays over the few weeks after it.
But it remains a good positive story for the Hoops, and hopefully Ajer and Moi come back absolutely brimming with confidence. Next up for them? Northern Ireland on Wednesday.