FC Bayern München's Roy Makaay reflected on a "great night" having scored the goals that defeated Celtic FC.
FC Bayern München hero Roy Makaay was delighted after his two goals defeated Celtic FC and the striker admitted to feeling more at home with every passing day following his summer move from RC Deportivo La Coruña.
'We are working well'
Tonight was just great for the whole team and especially so for me," Makaay said. "I feel that I am communicating better and better with my team-mates as time goes on and that we are working well together now."
Bayern turned a 1-0 deficit into a 2-1 win as the Dutch international striker scored twice in the second half. Celtic had taken the lead through Alan Thompson but Makaay first volleyed in from outside the penalty area and then struck a long, left-footed cross which evaded everyone and sneaked in at the foot of Magnus Hedman's right-hand post.
Bayern coach Ottmar Hitzfeld was relieved that Celtic had scored early in the second half as it gave his side time to recover. "
Celtic were very organised and we didn't play well in the first half," he said. "We didn't have any movement and we didn't do anything that took them by surprise - and I told my players so at half-time."
The Bayern coach felt that Celtic had been the better team in the first 45 minutes. Michael Ballack, back from injury, was kept unusually quiet by the industrious central midfield pairing of Neil Lennon and Stilian Petrov while on the wings, Didier Agathe and Alan Thompson created several problems for the German side's defence.
'We were a bit lucky'
But Bayern proved too strong in the end, as Hitzfeld acknowledged. "I think my players reacted in the right manner in the second half. The players finally woke up and started to play. And then we were also a bit lucky as Makaay scored his first at the right time and then with his winner as he clearly attempted to cross the ball."
Martin O'Neill, meanwhile, was unable to hide his disappointment after his side had fought so bravely and still ended up with nothing. "I don't know what to say, we are pretty devastated, all of us," said the Celtic manager. "Tomorrow morning I might be able take heart from our performance, but tonight I can't."
'No one to blame'
O'Neill singled out wingers Agathe and Thompson for praise and refused to criticise his defence for the two goals they conceded. "I am not going to blame anyone tonight," he said. "The team were magnificent and some goals you just can't defend against, like the one Bayern scored first today."
O'Neill felt that his side had done enough to deserve a point, if not all three. However, Bayern improved in the second half and the introduction of Paraguayan forward Roque Santa Cruz in place of midfield player Hasan Salihamidzic added more threat to the attack and allowed Makaay to drop deeper, a change which led to both goals.
Pressure back on
Celtic were stretched and their defence - missing Johan Mjällby, Joos Valgaeren and Stephen Crainey - allowed Bayern to create several chances towards the end. O'Neill summed it up: "A win would have set us up very nicely and taken the pressure off us to win at home. But it didn't turn out that way and we are devastated."