'World-class' Gary Hooper sets up Celtic for daunting Barcelona double

 

Kris Commons believes his Celtic team-mate Gary Hooper has great potential after the striker marked his first Champions League start with a goal in their 3-2 win over Spartak Moscow on Tuesday.

Hooper's first-time finish set Celtic up for their first away victory in the group stages of the competition. Georgios Samaras, who was making his first start since recovering from an elbow injury sustained on international duty with Greece last month, scored the late winner.

The Celtic manager, Neil Lennon, described Hooper's performance as "world class" after his striker scored his seventh goal in four games. He also set up Celtic's second, and his movement and alertness to receive a short free-kick paved the way for Emilio Izaguirre to cross for the last-minute winner by Samaras. Hooper's pace also led to a red card for Juan Insaurralde when Spartak were 2-1 ahead.

"When he [Gary] puts his mind to it, he can be anything," said Commons. "He has great movement, he is a natural goalscorer, he leads the line well and he is so strong. Even if his marker is quicker than him, he puts his body in positions and gets away from him and he has vision as well. Not many strikers have got great vision but he always seems to set me up for goals as well, which is good."

Commons says Celtic's chances of reaching the Champions League knockout stages are "a lot better than they were before the Spartak game" but he is aware that the Scottish champions, second in Group G with four points from two games, face a double-header against leaders Barcelona.

"Realistically, a point from both would be magnificent," he said. "They are the bookies' favourites to win the trophy and rightly so, they have the best team and the best squad in the world. For us to get anything off them... it would be a dream come true. We will probably need some luck.

"I think it will come down to our home games and trying to nick points off Benfica," Commons added. "But you know how hard it is to get a result away from home in the Champions League and for us to produce that against Spartak after going 2-1 down is tremendous. It is a great feeling and the lads are buzzing."

Meanwhile Charlton's chairman, Michael Slater, has lodged a formal complaint about Spanish police after revealing that he was knocked unconscious before last month's Champions League game between Real Madrid and Manchester City.

Slater was caught up in an incident close to Madrid's Bernabeu stadium in which police wielding batons allegedly charged City supporters in an unprovoked attack before kick off. As well as being knocked out, Slater, a Manchester City fan, was left with minor head injuries and severe bruising. He has reported it to the head of security at the Football Association and wants the matter to go to Uefa.

Slater told Charlton's official website: "I can confirm that I was assaulted by at least one police officer in Spain without any provocation at all. I have been in contact with the FA, and I am expecting them to take the matter up formally with Uefa."

Suggested Topics
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Revealed: Why Mohammed Emwazi chose the 'safe option' of fighting for Isis, rather than following his friends to al-Shabaab in Somalia

Why Mohammed Emwazi chose Isis

His friends were betrayed and killed by al-Shabaab
'The solution can never be to impassively watch on while desperate people drown'
An open letter to David Cameron: Building fortress Europe has had deadly results

Open letter to David Cameron

Building the walls of fortress Europe has had deadly results
Tory candidates' tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they seem - you don't say!

You don't say!

Tory candidates' election tweets not as 'spontaneous' as they appear
Mubi: Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash

So what is Mubi?

Netflix for people who want to stop just watching trash all the time
The impossible job: how to follow Kevin Spacey?

The hardest job in theatre?

How to follow Kevin Spacey
Armenian genocide: To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie

Armenian genocide and the 'good Turks'

To continue to deny the truth of this mass human cruelty is close to a criminal lie
Lou Reed: The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond the biographers' and memoirists' myths

'Lou needed care, but what he got was ECT'

The truth about the singer's upbringing beyond
Migrant boat disaster: This human tragedy has been brewing for four years and EU states can't say they were not warned

This human tragedy has been brewing for years

EU states can't say they were not warned
Women's sportswear: From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help

Women's sportswear

From tackling a marathon to a jog in the park, the right kit can help
Hillary Clinton's outfits will be as important as her policies in her presidential bid

Clinton's clothes

Like it or not, her outfits will be as important as her policies
NHS struggling to monitor the safety and efficacy of its services outsourced to private providers

Who's monitoring the outsourced NHS services?

A report finds that private firms are not being properly assessed for their quality of care
Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

Zac Goldsmith: 'I'll trigger a by-election over Heathrow'

The Tory MP said he did not want to stand again unless his party's manifesto ruled out a third runway. But he's doing so. Watch this space
How do Greek voters feel about Syriza's backtracking on its anti-austerity pledge?

How do Greeks feel about Syriza?

Five voters from different backgrounds tell us what they expect from Syriza's charismatic leader Alexis Tsipras
From Iraq to Libya and Syria: The wars that come back to haunt us

The wars that come back to haunt us

David Cameron should not escape blame for his role in conflicts that are still raging, argues Patrick Cockburn
Sam Baker and Lauren Laverne: Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

Too busy to surf? Head to The Pool

A new website is trying to declutter the internet to help busy women. Holly Williams meets the founders