Celtic hammer Hearts to reduce gap


We had more energy than I thought we had.

Brendan Rodgers' men require a victory over the Bundesliga high-fliers on Thursday evening to maintain genuine hope of progression from Europa League Group B.

Victory for Leipzig could open up a six-point gap ahead of the Hoops, who now sit third with three points to their name.

Have Celtic sent a message that they are back to their best? "Some of our attacking combination play was unbelievable".

However, the task of overcoming a Bundesliga side performing well in the Bundesliga could be complicated by the return of Swedish star Emil Forsberg, who missed the first game through injury.

Nir Bitton, Eboue Kouassi and Daniel Arzani remain sidelined for Celtic, but Olivier Ntcham could be passed fit to play.

The league table may still say that Hearts are ahead - although Celtic have a game in hand - but Rodgers' men delivered a huge psychological blow.

"We know if we're going to have any aspirations of coming out of the group then it's a game we have to win".

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"We're still in with a great chance".

"The next time we come here we'll be having a go for sure. We have to look to win next time and, if we don't, it is really hard.".

RB Leipzig manager Ralf Rangnick on his side's form: "At the beginning of the season, we struggled and I think a lot of that was to do with our disappointing end to last season".

"But the confidence is back now and we are playing really well".

"Sometimes you need a little bit of luck to get that breakthrough as we were relentless in trying to find it", said the former Liverpool captain.

RB Leipzig beat Celtic 2-0 in the first ever competitive meeting between these two sides in the last round of matches.

After seeing off the Jambos 3-0 in their League Cup semi-final last weekend, Celtic continued their stunning return to form after a hard start to the campaign with a sixth straight win in domestic competitions.

"The game today and this week showed the level these players have been at domestically for the last two-and-a-half years".