Ferencvaros v Celtic: Visitors boost knockout bid with second successive win

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Celtic's lead in the first half was restored by Jota's strike

Celtic's hopes of reaching the Europa League knockout stages were strengthened by a decisive victory over Ferencvaros in Budapest.

Liel Abada completed an outstanding team move to win the double over Hungarian champions. Myrto Uzuni's excellent strike then created an anxious final.

After Kyogo Furuhahsi's opening goal, the visitors took the lead. Ferencvaros was levelled by Jota shortly afterwards.

Celtic is now one point behind Real Betis in second place, who were defeated 4-0 at Bayer Leverkusen. There are two Group G games left.

Leverkusen is three points ahead at the top. Ferencvaros, however, are stuck at zero and cannot move forward. This means that Celtic will be playing European football after Christmas.

The second-placed team will be sent to the preliminary knockout round, with eight other teams dropping from the Champions League. Third place secures a Europa Conference League knockout spot.

Although Celtic won, it was more comfortable than the scoreline implies. However, the concession that gave hope to the hosts was an inexplicable one.

The Scottish team had won 2-0 at Ferencvaros, a victory that revived their European League campaign. However, they knew that repeating this feat in Hungary would be necessary to challenge for the knockout stages.

Ange Postecoglou, the manager, had declared it a must win and his players didn't linger in an attacking performance of high-tempo. They pushed ahead with a fantastic finish from Kyogo.

Abada, a Japan forward, still had a lot to do when he raced onto a stray pass by Eldar Civic and squared to him just outside the box. Kyogo faked shooting, confusing Miha Blazic before switching the ball from left foot to right and landing in the bottom corner.

The Celtic team's carelessness and misfortune soon cost them the advantage. Abada lost possession in a dangerous area. The ball was moved across to the right where Oleksandr Zubkov attempted a cross. This looped off Juranovic's sliding and over Joe Hart.

The pace was relentless, with Ferencvaros harassing Celtic and having lots of fun when they beat the media.

Hart initiated a lightning raid that saw them regain the lead. Hart got down to stop a Civic shot and then called Callum McGregor to get Callum McGregor forward to find Jota on his left flank. Adam Bogdan, a former Hibernian goalkeeper, was deceived by the slight deflection of the Portuguese winger's 20-yard strike.

Hart denied Uzuni a quick equaliser, but Celtic took control and tightened their grip.

Their lead was held by the crossbar at half-time. Hart was rooted by Tokmac Nguen’s drifting drive from the distance. Anthony Ralston, however, smashed the goal frame with a header.

Kyogo appeared to have given Celtic breathing room with a dink above Bodgan's defense-splitting pass. However, Blazic was able to sprint back and grab the line.

The third came soon after and was a mixture of craft and graft. Turnbull returned to Nguen to free him and found McGregor who swiftly transferred it to Kyogo. Abada's amazing slide-rule pass to the forward allowed him to take a shot past Bogdan from an extremely tight angle.

Celtic cruised to victory without much stress, until Mikey Johnston was called in as a substitute. Uzuni scored a fine strike but Postecoglou's team held firm for a well-deserved win.

Kyogo - Man of the Match

The Celtic side's significance to Japan forward is summarised by a goal and an assist

What have we learned?

Some of Celtic's attacking soccer was dazzling, and their risk-and reward style was validated by the thrilling victory.

The defense, with Stephen Welsh, 21 years old, substituting for Carl Starfelt in the centre back position, was rocky at times. Some possessions were reckless and dangerous.

Postecoglou's high-risk approach to team performance led to this improvement.

What were they saying?

Ange Postecoglou, Celtic manager, told BT Sport that the team deserved credit. It was three fantastic goals. I wish we had more. It's disappointing that we conceded the second goal, but it doesn't reflect how we played tonight.

"We just play at teams, which is why we can score three goals away from home. That is my opinion. This is the type of team we want and it's what our supporters want.

What's next?

Celtic will be away to Dundee on Sunday (12:00 GMT), their last appearance before the international break. They will be playing against Leverkusen, Germany's group leaders in Europa League on November 25th (17:45).

Match stats

Ferencvaros has lost all four games in the Europa League this year, matching their longest streak of defeats in Uefa Cup/Europa League (four in 1972 and 1977).

Celtic won their first major European competition away victory since November 2019, 2-1 against Lazio in Europa League. This is only their second win in 10 of these games (D3L5).

This is the first consecutive goal by Celtic in a major European competition, except for qualifiers. It's the first time Celtic have scored more than three goals in consecutive away matches since September-October 1970 (5-0 v KPV; 7-0 v Waterford United).

Despite their win, Celtic failed to keep a clean slate in any of their 10 away Europa League games and only one in their 25 overall away games in the competition (1-0 v Rosenborg, November 2018).

Kyogo Furuhashi scored consecutive goals in the Europa League for Celtic (two goals), and he is the first player to score in at least two of his three first appearances in European competition for Celtic since Kenny Miller 2006.