Real Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti was relieved to come away from Celtic Park with a win in the Champions League after being impressed by the Scottish champions’ recent demolition of rivals Rangers.
The European champions got their title defence off to a strong start with a 3-0 win against Celtic but were made to work hard for the victory in front of a raucous crowd in Glasgow.
Callum McGregor hit the post for the hosts in the first half as they started fast, but Real turned a corner after the break as Vinicius Junior, Luka Modric and Eden Hazard scored to wrap up the three points.
“We were worried for this game because we knew what they did against Rangers,” Ancelotti said, in reference to Celtic’s 4-0 Old Firm victory on Saturday.
“We suffered in the first half and it is absolutely normal to suffer here.”
The Italian told BT Sport: “It was like two games, first half we suffered a bit with intensity, second half we had control.
“We were not surprised [with Celtic’s start]. We knew they could start really fast. We were lucky because they hit the post.
“Second half was much better. When we opened to scoring it was easier for us to control the ball.”
Toni Kroos picked up the man of the match award after an imperious performance in midfield, and the German was blown away by the noise at Parkhead.
“What a spectacular atmosphere, what a mentality there is here at this stadium,” Kroos said.
“But we never expected this to be easy. We knew we were facing a good team on their own ground after they won 4-0 against the Europa League finalists at the weekend”.
Hazard came off the bench to score his first Champions League goal since November 2020, putting the final touch on a fantastic 33-pass move from the Spaniards.
“We are a team who can be without the ball for a while but still attack the moment we get it,” Kroos added.
“We got this result because of the quality of the match we produced. Hazard has been training at a phenomenal level and now, having scored, I hope he continues like this.”
Real Madrid’s next task is a home game against Mallorca in La Liga on Sunday, before they face RB Leipzig in the Champions League next Wednesday at the Santiago Bernabeu.