MATT O’RILEY says that Celtic’s performance against Real Madrid vindicated Ange Postecoglou’s attacking gameplan, and that despite the eventual 3-0 defeat, his team’s performance proved that the Scottish champions can compete at the very top level.

O’Riley was desperately disappointed not to have taken anything from Celtic’s Champions League Group F opener on Tuesday night, with Postecoglou’s men going toe-to-toe with the reigning European champions for the best part of an hour before Real Madrid’s class told in the end.

The reception the Celtic team were given by their supporters though told O’Riley everything he needed to know about how well they had played, and when asked if their performance had been a vindication of Postecoglou’s football philosophy, he said: “Of course it is.

“We don’t know how big a club we are. Our supporters, it’s like one of the biggest clubs in the world – so we want to repay them by competing against these teams and actually winning games like this.

“I think we’ve proven we can if we’re just a little bit more ruthless, have that bit more cutting edge in the final third. That’s just the difference.

“The reception we got from the fans was unbelievable, even after the game. We lost 3-0 but it almost felt like we’d won the game, that was the kind of support we got. That was cool from them.

“In my opinion the game could’ve been very different. We know how good a side they are, they control the game really well. But I think they only controlled it once they took the lead.

“If we took the first goal, and I think the first goal was massive, then it could’ve been a different matter.

“The first 55 minutes or so, I’d say we were the better team in terms of the better chances. But, it was a lesson for us. There’s loads to learn for us, including for me personally.

“It just shows the difference at the very top level, they’re just so ruthless.

“We obviously can compete with these teams, we’ve proven that. But the result doesn’t show that and it’s disappointing.”