Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou found reason to take pride amid his mixed emotions after losing 4-3 at Real Betis in the Europa League on Thursday evening, via The Scottish Sun.
The Hoops held a two-goal lead after 27-minutes at the Benito Villamarin Stadium, but Juan Miranda and Juanmi pegged them back before the break. Borja Iglesias and Juanmi then fired past Joe Hart for what proved to be an unassailable lead for Los Verdiblancos.
Defensive mistakes helped Iglesias feed Juanmi for Betis’ 34th-minute equaliser and score in the 50th-minute. While David Turnbull’s attempted clearance only found Juanmi to net his second. Yet the football Celtic played against Real Betis pleased Postecoglou.
Speaking after Thursday defeat, Postecoglou said: “I’ve got mixed emotions after the game. I’m really proud of the team and the football we played against a very good opposition. We’re away from home and the football was good. But they obviously have some quality and there were periods of the game where they got momentum and some big goals.
“On the other side of that, we had opportunities to go further ahead. So, it’s disappointing that the players didn’t get the rewards for the efforts they showed. I was really proud of the football we played and the efforts the players put in. We showed some resilience to show that irrespective of circumstances, we will be a certain kind of football team.
“Don’t get me wrong, I’m disappointed we didn’t win tonight. I’m disappointed the players didn’t get their rewards, but it doesn’t deter my bullishness about where we’re heading. We’re just going to get stronger, there’s no doubt in my mind about that. What we did tonight is our baseline against a very good side.”
Celtic hindered themselves in Real Betis defeat
Postecoglou is clearly still trying to get Celtic playing the way he wants, but believes results will come despite losing to Real Betis. The Hoops showed some promising signs in their trip to Seville to support the Australian’s confidence for a brighter future.
Celtic stormed to a two-goal lead midway through the first-half, but hindered themselves with defensive mistakes. Without those errors, they could have left the Benito Villamarin with all three points and a first win in Spain.
All three points would have given Postecoglou even more reason to feel proud of his Celtic side against Real Betis. Yet the Hoops should also take some pride in scoring three against Manuel Pellegrini’s Verdiblancos. They have only conceded four in four La Liga games so far this season, including a 1-0 defeat to Real Madrid, who they held to three shots on target.