Monday 20 November 2017

Roy Keane changes his tune on Celtic after Champions League thriller

Roy Keane said Celtic were outstanding against Manchester City. Photo: ITV1
Roy Keane said Celtic were outstanding against Manchester City. Photo: ITV1
Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola gathers his thoughts after the final whistle. Picture: Reuters
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

Roy Keane ripped into Celtic’s players after they were hammered 7-0 by Barcelona in their opening Champions League game earlier this month - but he changed his tune after watching their 3-3 draw against Manchester City on Wednesday night.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers hit out at Keane after he suggested Celtic’s management staff and their players celebrated with a little too much enthusiasm after securing qualification for the Champions League group stages, as he hinted they did not set their sights high enough in the next phase of the competition.

Back in his role as an ITV pundit, the Republic of Ireland assistant manager offered up a different view as he watched their thrilling 3-3 draw against Manchester City at Parkhead, as he argued Rodgers players fully deserved to take a point from a game they led on three separate occasions.

“They were outstanding, much better from Celtic,” said Keane. “It was a really good game, both teams going for it.

“Celtic had the ideal start scoring early and obviously got the fans right behind them. (Moussa) Dembele was outstanding and to score three goals against Man City is never easy. Obviously City showed their quality at times as well, but it was a great game.

“City were always in the game, they have some great players. With the quality City had on the pitch, you are always going to get chances and Celtic were hanging on for the last 20 minutes, but I think they deserved the breaks they got.”

Celtic's Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring their third goal Action Images via Reuters / Lee Smith
Celtic's Moussa Dembele celebrates scoring their third goal Action Images via Reuters / Lee Smith
Manchester City's Ilkay Gundogan (right) and Celtic's Kieran Tierney battle for the ball. Picture: PA
Moussa Dembele wrong-foots Manchester City goalkeeper Claudio Bravo to score Celtic's third goal just after half-time
Celtic's Moussa Dembele scores his side's third goal of the game. Picture: PA

Keane also offered up a typically harsh view of City’s defending at Parkhead, as he suggested they will be exposed by back-to-back games against Barcelona in their next Champions League group games.

“We have mentioned that City are trying to win the competition, but if they defend like that later on in the competition they will have no chance,” he continued.

“Going forward it was great, but at the back they were all over the place. They have to tighten up for the Barcelona games.”

Keane went on to suggest Celtic’s draw was a boost to their ultimate goal, which is to finish third in their group behind Barcelona and City to secure a place in the Europa League knock-out stages in the second half of this season.

“Celtic want to be in the Europa league after Christmas, that is what they are playing for,” he added.

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