Buidling Dreams Together


Celtic steal first Champions League point with draw against Atlético Madrid

Celtic picked up their first point of the 2023/24 Champions League group stage as Brendan Rodgers’ team led twice at Celtic Park in an exciting encounter.
Credit: Getty Images

The hosts got the game off to a quick start as a brilliant one-two allowed Kyogo Furuhashi to slot the ball in the bottom corner of the net. The early goal gave the team confidence and delighted the fans, but celebrations were brought to a halt when Reo Hatate was forced off the pitch with an injury just a minute later.

Atlético looked to get back into the game by keeping possession, and they would get their chance to equalise when Greg Taylor lunged into a tackle, which led to the referee awarding a penalty to the visitors and Antoine Griezmann stepped up for the spot kick in front of a lethal Parkhead crowd. Joe Hart pulled off a fantastic save to push the shot onto the bar, but it fell back to Griezmann who was now presented with an empty net. He made no mistake in converting the rebound to equalise.

Celtic kept up the relentless pressure against Atlético after the equaliser, and it didn’t take long for another chance to present itself. Daizen Maeda burst down the left wing and sent a ball across the face of goal. Luis Palma was waiting to pick it up and he fired into the far corner to the joy of Celtic fans.

After Matthew O’Riley forced a brilliant save out of Jan Oblak just before half-time, on the other end of the pitch, Witsel had it beyond Hart and in the back of the net. There were cheers around Celtic Park though, because the flag was raised and he was determined to be offside.

With Celtic failing to win in their last 11 Champions League home games, it’s safe to say the atmosphere was electric inside the stadium as the second half began.

Under ten minutes into the second half, a cross from deep would pick out Alvaro Morata and the Spaniard nodded it in with a low header.

Although the goals were done for the night, the drama was not. As Atlético manager Diego Simeone was preparing a substitution to replace Rodrigo De Paul, he slid in for a risky challenge and the referee didn’t hesitate to give him his second yellow card of the game. It was a clear follow-through and sending off, but De Paul protested for a minute before leaving the field. Celtic couldn’t take advantage of the fact Atlético were down to ten men, and they will have to wait even longer for a Champions League victory.

Credit: Getty Images

Questions will be asked of the clear difference between the first and second half performance from Celtic. In the first half, Celtic were putting intense pressure on the visitors, forcing them into mistakes and capitalising on any chances they were given. When the team came out in the second half, the pace was slower and Atlético began to overrun the home side. Despite this, fans seem to be happy with the tactics deployed by the manager and are showing their complete support – something that would’ve seemed unlikely after his sudden departure all those years ago.

Brendan Rodgers’ side will be hoping to clinch 3rd in the group, a position that most fans would be happy with after two losses at the start of the campaign.

Elsewhere in the group, Feyenoord beat Lazio 3-1. They currently sit top of Group E, and the teams will face each other again on the 7th of November; this time with the Italian side hosting.

Next up, Celtic face Hibernian in the Scottish capital, while Atlético host Alavés.

In the Champions League, Celtic travel to Spain to face Atlético again. Group E games will be played on Tuesday, November 7th.

To keep up-to-date with everything football, don’t forget to follow DubSports and @jjessicur on Twitter/X.