MX23RW : Sunday, February 17 18:59:36

Kieran Tierney certain Salzburg are class act after Celtic slump to defeat

The visitors were swept aside in the second half on Thursday.

Kieran Tierney believes Celtic came up against a Champions League-standard side in Thursday night’s 3-1 defeat by Salzburg in Austria.

French striker Odsonne Edouard put the visitors ahead in the Europa League Group B fixture at the Red Bull Arena after less than two minutes with a powerful run and finish.

However, the Austrian champions, who reached the semi-final of the tournament last season and dropped out of the Champions League qualifiers on away goals to Red Star Belgrade this year, replied with two goals in six second-half minutes.

They came from from Israel international Munas Dabbur and fellow attacker Takumi Minamino, before Dabbur scored the third with a penalty.

The defeat could have been a more damaging for the Scottish champions and 21-year-old left-back Tierney, captain in place of the injured Scott Brown, said: “They are a Champions League team. The standard they play at, the pressure, it is a very hard place to go and get a result.

“Their record in the past shows that, so we are obviously disappointed but we know it is a great team we played against.

“It was a hard night. Obviously we got off to a great start with the goal and after that they were piling on the pressure.

“I thought we coped with it well in the first half but in the second half they got a few goals.

“We knew they would take a lot of confidence from that (first goal) and come at us even more.

“We knew it was going to be tough, we are obviously disappointed.”

Celtic will take the three points they gained from an opening Group B fixture win over Rosenborg at Parkhead into a double-header against RB Leipzig, with the first game in Germany later this month.

Tierney believes it is the home record of Brendan Rodgers’ team which will be the key to hopes of qualifying out of the group.

The Scotland international said: “I think the home games are really important for us and the gaffer has said that also.

“The away games, you prepare as well as you can and get what you can out of the games.

“Last night we were unlucky, unfortunate, we conceded a few goals after a good start.”

Celtic now prepare to face St Johnstone in the Ladbrokes Premiership at McDiarmid Park on Sunday, and once again the double-treble winners will be asked to quickly recover mentally and physically.

Tierney said: “That’s what you need to do at Celtic and that is what we have done in the last couple of seasons.

“So it is something we are used to and it is another challenge for us.”

Defender Mikael Lustig knows no different at Celtic.

The Sweden international said: “It has been like this for the last seven years so we will keep on going.

“We have struggled in Europe before and come back and played a great game in the domestic league so hopefully we can do that again.”

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