Postecoglou: Celtic have to be more clinical at Champions League level

Celtic had chances but lost 3-0 to Real Madrid in the Champions League.

Ange Postecoglou: Celtic have to be more clinical at Champions League level SNS Group

Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou rued his side’s missed opportunities against Real Madrid, and said the Spanish side’s quality showed in their 3-0 win.

The home side matched the defending champions for an hour at Celtic Park in their first Champions Legaue group game, but goals from Vinicius Jnr, Luka Modric and Eden Hazard meant Real return to Madrid with three points.

Celtic did ask questions of the star-studded side though, with Liel Abada and Daizen Maeda having golden opportunities to score, and Callum McGregor striking the post.

Postecoglou felt that being clinical was one of the differences between the sides.

“We’re obviously disappointed with the outcome,” he said. “The first goal was always going to be important. Up to that point I thought we were well in the game and, if anything, we had the better chances. We needed to capitalise on them and we didn’t.

“Once the goal went in, they have got the quality to take control of the game. We had to press on and they were able to then exploit the spaces we left.

“You learn at this level that you will get punished if you don’t take your chances.

“If we score the first goal it puts pressure on them and they have to open up and we can take control of the game.

“We had the chances. It’s different if you don’t create anything or the opposition have you pinned back, then there is stuff you can learn. But I think what we learned we already knew, we have to be clinical in both boxes.”

Despite the scoreline, the Celtic support showed their appreciation for the team’s efforts and Postecoglou said that showed what the occasion meant.

“I just feel the responsibility of bringing this football club to this level – that’s what these fans deserve,” he said. “There’s no starker reminder of that than the reception they gave us after the game.

“They deserve to see their football club competing against the likes of Real Madrid on a regular basis and really competing.”

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