“I was lucky”; Celtic admitted the injury after a critical point in Sydney | Tech US News


Celtic midfielder Matt O’Riley insisted he was lucky not to be injured after what ended up being a poor challenge from Everton’s Isaac Price.

The 21-year-old was recalled to Ange Postecoglou’s starting XI in the Sydney Super Cup as the Bhoys took on English Premier League opposition.

The Hoops put in a dominant performance, with O’Riley once again at the heart of it as he played in a deep-lying midfield role.

Photo: Steven Markham/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Although the game was friendly down under, the pace and intensity of the match did not have the feel of a non-competitive game.

And in the first half, Frank Lampard’s side faced a number of tough challenges that saw members of his team walk off with cautions.

O’Riley was on the end of one of those challenges, which came from Everon youngster Isaac Price, who caught the midfielder high on the leg.

In any competitive match, Price’s tackle would almost certainly have resulted in a red card after he caught the Denmark Under-21 international high and late.

O’Riley revealed after the 0-0 draw that he spoke to the referee about the tackle and insisted he was “lucky” to get injured.

He said [Daily Record]: “I was lucky. I’m not even sure he got a penalty, I don’t think he did. It was on my knee. I got quite a grade from that.

Photo by Tony McArdle/Everton FC via Getty Images

“I spoke to the referee. He tried to explain it to me, but I didn’t quite understand. One day I break my leg. I wasn’t scared, but at the same time, looking back, I realized that I was lucky. It was high, just above shin.

“I don’t think he wanted to give a red card because it was just a friendly. But the red card is every other day.”

Celtic are lucky not to end up a disaster with O’Riley’s injury.

While these friendlies will prove valuable for Ange Postecoglou and his players, there is one piece of news the Celtic manager would not want to come out of Australia with.

And it was that one of his first-team stars was seriously injured against Sydney FC and Everton.

Thankfully, the Bhoys came through both games cleanly. But it could have been very different when O’Riley was on the receiving end of a nasty challenge.

Photo: Ulrik Pedersen/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

You could tell almost immediately how bad the challenge was when the midfielder was left on the ground after a high tackle on his leg.

If he were to go down on his standing leg, it could have ended disastrously for O’Riley and Celtic, with the former Fulham player potentially out for a long time.

We can be extremely pleased that this was not the case and we should have a complete squad to return to competitive waters at the end of December.

In other news, the importance of Celtic’s January transfer plans could become more important.

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