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Celtic vs Ferencvaros, kickoff time, protests, crowd, UEFA, Ange Postecoglou, reaction

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Celtic breathed new life into their Europa League campaign by beating Ferencvaros 2-0 in front of a crowd of more than 50,000 at Celtic Park despite a kickoff drama.

The Hungarians were due to travel to Scotland in two weeks’ time, but policing requirements for the COP26 global climate summit in Glasgow forced the fixture to be switched.

“It’s a challenging game for us, mainly because of the kick-off time,” Celtic coach Ange Postecoglou said in the lead-up to the match.

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Ange Postecoglou and Celtic enjoyed another win. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Ange Postecoglou and Celtic enjoyed another win. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)Source: Getty Images

Rangers’ Europa League clash with Brondby on Thursday and UEFA’s insistence for a different kick-off time to Champions League games led to the unusual kick-off time.

Celtic fans protested with a banner directed at UEFA to pay more attention to match-going fans than television rights deals.

However, once the action got under way, there was plenty for the home fans to celebrate.

Postecoglou’s men had conceded four goals in each game in losing their opening two group games to Real Betis and Bayer Leverkusen.

But a step down in the class of opposition allowed the Hoops to get off the mark in Group G and gain revenge for their Champions League qualifying exit to Ferencvaros last season.

Kyogo Furuhashi opened the scoring with a calm finish from Jota’s sumptuous through ball on 57 minutes.

Kyogo Furuhashi celebrates scoring his team’s first goal. (Photo by ANDY BUCHANAN / AFP)Source: AFP

“It was a world-class move,” Postecoglou said.

“They are both two talented players. We are trying to play football that will suit those kind of guys and I think they appreciate that.

“The flip side is that they have got to work hard defensively and, as I keep telling them, they will get their rewards.”

Callum McGregor then saw a penalty saved by Denes Dibusz.

More chances came and went for the home side before David Turnbull bundled the ball in off the bar with nine minutes remaining.

It was a controlled display from Celtic but Postecoglou knows it can be hard to sustain that level of dominance every match.

“Every game… whether it is Europe at Celtic Park or home or away in the league, that’s how we want to be,” he said post-game.

“It’s not easy to play that way, though.

“I acknowledge that and I think sometimes people who analyse us should acknowledge that, too. It’s not easy and it takes time. If you look at how the best teams play, it doesn’t happen overnight and we are just starting to get into a place where we are laying some foundations down.

“We have a lot of improvement to do, but the basic underlying theme is we want to be relentless in our football and approach and I thought even before I came here that’s what this football is all about. That is what supporters want to see.”

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