Moussa Dembele ‘bullied the back four of Manchester City’ raves Celtic’s Rodgers

Moussa Dembele is 'a huge talent' and Celtic are 'very fortunate to have him' Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said of the burgeoning young French star on Wednesday night.

Moussa Dembele of Celtic celebrates with teammates after scoring his second goal against Manchester City. Michael Steele / Getty Images
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French striker Moussa Dembele, 20, was Celtic's star man on a boisterous night at Celtic Park, twice putting the home side ahead in a sensational 3-3 draw with Manchester City.

But his third-minute opener was matched by Fernandinho and after Raheem Sterling had atoned for an own goal with a goal of his own, Dembele’s second – a flying volley – was cancelled out by Nolito.

“We’re very fortunate to have him,” Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers said of Dembele, who was released by Fulham earlier this year.

“He was coveted by a number of teams, but his agent is a clever guy. Does he go to a so-called better league, a more competitive league, and sit on the bench and not get so many games?

“Or does he come to a big club with the opportunity to play and develop?

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“You saw tonight, he really bullied the back four of Manchester City. But he’s more than that.

“He’s got a wonderful touch. You see his agility for the third goal. He’s got power, he’s got pace. He’s a huge talent and he was outstanding tonight.”

Celtic were humbled 7-0 by Barcelona in their opening game, but Rodgers felt the quality of their pressing and attacking football against City proved they belong in this company.

"Manchester City have travelled around the English Premier League and absolutely destroyed teams, both in terms of pressing and their football," said the former Liverpool manager.

“We’ve all seen it, hence everyone thought it would be hugely difficult for us. Hopefully the performance tonight shows this is a huge club.

“It just doesn’t have the platform of English Premier League clubs. This is one of the biggest clubs in the world.

“In order to keep improving, we need to be at this level, but we need to perform to be at this level. It’s a huge pat on the back for the club, for the atmosphere and for the players.”

*Agence France-Presse

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