The Scottish Mail on Sunday

Scots sides show impressive intensity in European action


IT is tough to find and maintain the intensity needed to take on a Scandinavi­an team at this time of year. Yet on Thursday I never saw any evidence of Hacken being 11 games into their domestic season.

That’s credit to Aberdeen. The players looked ready and the 5-1 scoreline is testament to how comfortabl­y they dismantled their Swedish opponents.

It was good to see such a spread of goals but I thought Lewis Ferguson was pivotal, man of the match. Fergie has always been a very good finisher and having Scott Brown tucked in behind will only allow him to go and cause even more damage.

He is destined to play at a higher level because he can do everything. It’s clear that Lewis is still keen to try something new but no one watching him on Thursday could question his commitment.

Similar applies to Ryan Christie, Celtic’s best player in the first leg against Midtjyllan­d. I said last week that Ange Postecoglo­u would be able to rely on Ryan and so it proved in the 1-1 draw.

With just six months to run on his contract, it might be difficult for the club to turn down an offer. But Celtic may feel that he is worth more in staying put.

There were still hints of last season in Tuesday’s performanc­e and the goal conceded shows the importance of having a dependable goalkeeper. But going to Denmark won’t faze Celtic and the fact the away goals rule has been abolished means they don’t need to score.

Hibs look to have done enough to get through too but their win over Santa Coloma shows you how a refereeing performanc­e can complicate a European fixture. It was a bad decision to send off Joe Newell but thankfully Hibs were good enough to deal with that. They take a 3-0 lead to Andorra and boss Jack Ross will be pleased to have both Martin Boyle and Kevin Nisbet among the goals.

 ??  ??

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from United Kingdom