Celtic’s performances in Europe have been heavily criticised this season and, in some respects, that was more than understandable.
The Hoops failed to qualify for the Champions League after a wholly avoidable defeat against a limited AEK Athens side and they also lost two of their first three games in the Europa League campaign to boot, collapsing against RB Leipzig and Salzburg.
So Celtic needed a response heading into the return game against Leipzig on Thursday night. And, thanks largely to the brilliant Kieran Tierney, they got one.
The left-back has been arguably Celtic’s star performer in Europe this season and was the driving force behind the hugely impressive 2-1 win against their Bundesliga opposition at Parkhead.
It was Tierney who opened the scoring, firing home brilliantly at the end of a flowing move. And he was in inspired form at both ends of the pitch, powering forward on the overlap while dominating Leipzig’s attackers with an impressive defensive display.
And the Scotland international has now been rewarded with a place in UEFA’s official Europa League Team of the Week alongside the likes of Fenerbahce playmaker Mathieu Valbuena, Villarreal goalkeeper Andres Fernandez and Salzburg’s hat-trick hero Takum Minamino.
Any praise is richly deserved for a player who seems to be key to Celtic’s hopes of playing European football after Christmas.