Michael Owen believes Ange Postecoglou’s Celtic can beat most Champions League teams after battling Real Madrid in their first game.
The Hoops defeated European champions Real in the early stages of the game at Parkhead on Tuesday, before the Spanish giant’s class shone through in the second half.
Three goals after halftime for Vinicius Junior, Luka Modric and Eden Hazard made the 3-0 result look comfortable for Real Madrid.
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In his role as a football pundit, Owen has been hugely impressed with the performance of the Postecoglou-led Celtic and believes they can challenge any team in the league – with RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk also in their group.
“In the end it was exhibition stuff from [Real Madrid] – how to calm a crowd, how to kill a match and score goals,” Owen told BT Sport.
“But I think Celtic can walk off the field with their heads held high. I saw something there that would suggest they can beat most teams in this competition.
“Okay, Real Madrid are European champions, but that’s a very, very good Celtic team.”
Former Celtic goalkeeper Packie Bonner thinks if the Hoops had scored the first goal they could have won the game.
“They were sorry they didn’t score that first goal,” Bonner told the BBC.
“If they had scored in the first half, I think it would have been a slightly different outcome of the game.
“Maybe they would have gone ahead and still scored two or three goals, but I think Celtic could have got a real foothold in this game trying to get a win or at least a draw.
“If you don’t score that first goal and don’t take your chances when you play against such a quality team, it will be a very difficult evening.”
Celtic are already five points clear of rivals Rangers in the Scottish title race after six games, having won all their league games, scoring 25 goals and conceding just one.
The Hoops take on Livingston in the league on Saturday before traveling to the Polish capital Warsaw to meet Ukraine’s Shakhtar Donetsk in the Champions League on Wednesday.