Shakhtar Donetsk defender Valery Bondar has stated that Celtic are currently better than Group F rival RB Leipzig after facing both sides.
The Ukrainian champions started their Champions League campaign strong, collecting four points in their first two matches.
Shakhtar’s outstanding performance so far came during their trip to Germany last week, as they beat Leipzig 4-1 at the Red Bull Arena.
Although we knew what quality Igor Jovicevich’s side would likely represent, it came as a surprise to many to see Shakhtar run out of convincing winners on the club from the Bundesliga.
Celtic were wary of this threat in Wednesday night’s game against Shakhtar in Poland and came away with a point that looked like a good result on paper.
But, with the performance by Postecoglou’s team and the chances created on the night, it could have been a lot more to the hoops.
After facing off with the two likely opponents for second and third place, Shakhtar now have a better perspective of what they face in Group F.
Donetsk defender Valery Bondar played the full 90 minutes against both RB Leipzig and Celtic, and speaking after Wednesday’s game, the Ukraine international provided insight into which of the two teams is harder to face.
The 23-year-old stated that in his second game of the group he understood how difficult the task was and Celtic were the tougher opponent of the two so far.
He said [Shakhtar Donetsk]: “I have a great impression on our opponent today. We fully understood that the match would be tough and were specially prepared for Celtic.
“The coach emphasized that it would be more difficult than it was with RB Leipzig. Currently, this club is better than RB Leipzig, so we were very keen on the game and did our best on the field. We did everything to win and to entertain our fans.”
Celtic exhibited their quality in Europe. Now it’s about turning that into points on the board.
Although the Bhoys may only have one point after two games, it is fair to say that we showed our quality against Real Madrid and Shakhtar.
However, it’s not just about making strong showings; It’s also about getting the results needed to get out of the group in the Champions League.
With the last four group stage matches played over the next few months, I’m sure Ange Postecoglou’s side will be very hungry to turn those performances into results.
We have shown signs that we are more than capable of creating chances against teams at the top level in Europe. Now, we have to improve it and show that we can transform it too.
With the praise we’ve received from both Shakhtar’s players and their manager, you can’t imagine they will be looking forward to their Celtic Park trip in October as the Hoops look to right the wrongs of the reverse game.
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