Second-half goals from Kyogo Furahashi and David Turnbull gave Celtic their first points in this season’s Europa League as Ferencvaros were swept aside on Tuesday afternoon at Celtic Park.
Here are three things we learned after a dominant display in Glasgow.
Squad Taking Shape
Celtic’s lack of squad depth has been painfully evident for much of this season, with Postecoglou having to rely on a wafer-thin core of starters week in, week out. However, Tuesday’s bench was the strongest it’s been since the beginning of the campaign and Celtic looked far better for it. Giakoumakis had plenty of neat touches following his introduction on Tuesday and was unfortunate not to score with an acrobatic bicycle kick. The Greek hitman also held the ball up well and was keen to bring others into play. He certainly offers something different in attack and will be expecting some more game time over the coming weeks. Bitton came on to shore up the midfield and in doing so released McGregor, the benefits of which could be seen with ten minutes remaining as the latter won possession on the edge of the visitor’s box before playing in Jota to square for Turnbull’s clincher. Scales looked assured after replacing Montgomery, while Johnston was scintillating during his five-minute cameo too. At long last, Celtic’s bench looks capable of affecting the game and should only get stronger with the return of Forrest, Jullien, Juranovic and McCarthy in the next month.
The on-loan Benfica winger is getting better with each passing game and was once again the main man midweek. Despite not continuing his recent scoring streak, he more than played his part, first setting up Kyogo with a gorgeous cross-field pass before assisting Turnbull to seal the points. His work rate was impressive too. Even with the result secure and the clock ticking down, the Portuguese playmaker was hurrying and hassling the Ferencvaros backline, something that was noted by the manager in his post-match press conference. If recent performances are anything to go by, the Celtic hierarchy should already be putting plans in place to make the move permanent.
Hungary Holds No Fear
Few would give Celtic much chance of qualifying for the next round of the Europa League following back-to-back defeats against Betis and Leverkusen, but European football beyond Christmas in the Conference League can at least be secured with a positive result in Budapest next time out. The Hungarian champions will surely cast off the defensive shackles at home and this approach should suit the Bhoys, who have more than enough quality on the break to cause problems for any side, let alone one as poor as the one who visited Celtic Park this week.