MX23RW : Saturday, July 31 18:01:58| >> :120:82726:82726:
Jul 20, 2021 at 7.45pm UK at Celtic Park
MidtjyllandFC Midtjylland
Abada (39')
Bitton (38')
Bitton (44')
FT(HT: 1-0)
Evander (66')
Dalsgaard (26'), Dreyer (44'), Onyedika Nwadike (81')
Dreyer (56')

Ange Postecoglou delighted with response from Celtic fans

Ange Postecoglou delighted with response from Celtic fans
© Reuters
The crowd gave the new manager a huge cheer when he was introduced before the 1-1 draw.

Ange Postecoglou claimed the reception he got from the Celtic fans ahead of their Champions League qualifier against Midtjylland reminded him of why he "loves the game."

The Hoops boss spoke of "so many disruptions" in pre-season and claimed the Parkhead club had "hesitated" in the transfer market in the lead-up to the first leg tie against the Danish outfit.

However, those frustrations were washed away on Tuesday night when 9,000 Hoops fans – the biggest crowd inside the stadium since coronavirus restrictions were introduced in March, 2020 – gave him a huge cheer when he was introduced before the 1-1 draw.

After the match, the former Australia manager dismissed questions about the financial implications of exiting the Champions League to concentrate on the feeling he got from supporters on his first competitive match as Celtic manager.

He said: "It was brilliant. It was a special night for me because to walk out the tunnel as Celtic manager in a Champions League game, the response from the fans was very special.

"I guess that's why I love the game. You talk about finances – it's the last thing on my mind when you get a response like that from people who love this football club, that's what motivates me.

"I'm not an accountant. I'm a football manager. When people start talking to me about finances they miss the essence of what I'm about.

"I'm not interested. I want to win games, I want to win trophies, I want to bring special nights to here. The finances are for other people."

It was quite a start for Postecoglou.

Liel Abada, the 19-year-old Israeli winger, marked his competitive debut in the 37th minute by giving the home side the lead.

Celtic defender Nir Bitton was sent off before the break for remonstrating with Anders Dreyer for diving in the box, thus picking up his second yellow.

The Midtjylland wide man, booked for his attempt to win a penalty, then picked up a second yellow for diving after the break before Brazilian midfielder Evander levelled for the Danish side with a free-kick to set up nicely next week's second leg in Denmark.

Bitton's needless dismissal meant a debut for 18-year-old defender Dane Murray and his performance pleased Postecoglou.

He said: "You know how young he is and he is not just coming on the pitch, he is facing a formidable opponent and with 10 men.

"But you know what, my gut instinct told me he wouldn't be fazed by it.

"I watched him in training and he is a young kid, not just with football potential but personality and character which belies his age.

"I was quite happy to trust him out there."

Fellow centre-back Stephen Welsh, who only became a fixture in the side last season himself, was also impressed but not surprised by the latest youngster to emerge from the club's academy.

The 21-year-old said: "Dane Murray was fantastic on his debut, both on the ball and defensively.

"When Nir went off I had confidence in Dane coming in because he's trained with us since last season.

"He's been fantastic and I felt comfortable with him because he's so good for such a young player.

"He's got a bright future ahead of him and he'll be a big player for us.

"The manager has faith in him and as a young player that's all you need. Someone to put trust in you to go and play with freedom.

"If Dane is selected next week then I've got massive confidence he can go there and put a performance in."

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Ange Postecoglou pictured in November 2020
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Olympic medal table header
CountryGold medalSilver MedalBronze MedalT
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Olympics flagOlympic Athletes from Russia11151137
Great BritainGreat Britain891128
Today's Olympic highlights header

Sunday's key events

· The men's golf reaches its conclusion, with plenty of players still in medal contention. Home favourite Hideki Matsuyama is one shot off Xander Schauffele's lead, while Great Britain's Paul Casey is another shot further back and Tommy Fleetwood is also in the mix (11.30pm-8am)

· Great Britain have already made history in the BMX events in Tokyo, something Charlotte Worthington and Declan Brooks will be looking to add to in the women's (2.10am) and men's (3.10am) freestyle finals

· The final day of swimming action begins with the men's 50m freestyle final. Ben Proud could add to a medal-laden Games in the pool for Team GB so far, although he is up against USA's Caeleb Dressel, who is going for his fourth gold in Tokyo (2.30am)
· From sprint to endurance, Great Britain's second medal hope of the day comes through Daniel Jervis in the men's 1500m freestyle final (2.44am)
· Team GB will again be among the heavy favourites for gold in the last swimming event of the Games - the men's 4x100m medley relay final - having won the mixed event in a world record time on Saturday (3.36am)

· Already guaranteed at least a bronze, Pat McCormack takes part in the men's welterweight semi-final against Ireland's Aidan Walsh with a spot in the gold medal final at stake (4.03am)
· Ben Whittaker is also in the semi-finals of the men's light heavyweight and will be looking to continue Team GB's success in the ring (4.51am)

· There will be a surprise on the top of the men's tennis podium after Novak Djokovic missed out on a medal altogether. Alexander Zverev takes on Karen Khachanov in the second match on Centre Court at the Ariake Tennis Park (7am-2pm)

· Alison Young will be going for gold in the women's laser radial medal race (7.33am)

· Team GB's Max Whitlock will look to defend his 2016 Olympic title in the men's pommel horse final (10.41am)

· The men's high jump final includes GB's Tom Gale, although his chances of a medal look bleak (11.10am)
· So often the blue-riband event of the Olympics, the men's 100m final takes place as the world's fastest bid to be crowned Usain Bolt's successor. Three Brits have made it into the semi-finals (11.15am-11.32am), and the final looks wide open after an underwhelming display by favourite Trayvon Bromell on Saturday (1.50pm)

· Great Britain face India in the men's quarter-final (1pm)

> Today's schedule in full
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Olympic Games Men's Football
Scottish Premiership
Pre-Season Friendlies
Portuguese Super Cup
Taca da Liga
Scottish Championship
Scottish League One
Scottish League Two
Belgian Pro League
Swiss Super League
Russian Premier League
Ukrainian Premier League
Swedish Allsvenskan
Danish Superliga
Finnish Veikkausliiga
League of Ireland Premier
Belarusian Premier League
Ligue 2
Major League Soccer
Copa Diego Maradona
Uruguayan Primera Division
Liga MX
Chinese Super League
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