Brendan Rodgers hailed “an outstanding team performance” after his Celtic side kept their Champions League campaign alive with a 1-1 draw against Borussia Monchengladbach.
The Hoops were heading out of the competition after Lars Stindl’s first-half goal gave Gladbach a lead that lasted until the 76th minute, when Julian Korb hauled Moussa Dembele down in the penalty area.
Korb was sent off and Dembele equalised from the ensuing spot-kick before Callum McGregor missed a gilt-edged chance to give Celtic all three points when he fired wide with three minutes left.
The draw left Celtic requiring maximum points from tough games against Barcelona and Manchester City in order to have a chance of progressing from Group C, but Rodgers praised his side, saying: “I thought we should have won the game.
“I felt we were the best team. I’m really proud of the players. I said to them in order for us to improve and be better we need to play with personality. The personality we showed in the game was outstanding.
“We were very brave on the ball, we built the game, created chances, had speed in our counter-attack and had chances to win.
“We hit the bar, we should have scored at the end, and gave an outstanding team performance. It was a beginning for us in terms of the personality we need to play with.
“It’s another step forward for this team in a short space of time.”
Celtic’s performance was vastly improved after their 2-0 defeat to Gladbach at Celtic Park two weeks earlier, and Rodgers reserved praise for Dembele, who ably led the line of his side’s attack and scored his fifth Champions League goal of the season.
“It was a big moment for Moussa. He showed great composure,” said Rodgers.
“He’s a very good penalty taker. I thought he was immense. For a 20-year-old to perform like that with his presence and quality was great.
“We sit here having should have won the game but it’s a positive night. We’ve played against top sides and tonight we were the better team. We were second best at home but we showed a marvellous response.
“Hopefully we can build on this game. The competition this year was about improvement and I think we can see that.”