Celtic’s Adam Matthews has called on Roy Hodgson to hand Fraser Forster his first England cap after witnessing the Hoops stopper produce a sensational display in the Celts 2-1 win over Barcelona last night.
On a tumultuous night at Parkhead, Forster was outstanding as Celtic repelled their much fancied visitors to record a famous victory in the Champions League.
Goals from Victor Wanyama and Tony Watt saw Celtic reverse the 2-1 score-line from a fortnight ago in the Nou Camp and they hung on to win despite a late Lionel Messi strike.
“Fraser was heroic for us,” Matthews told the Evening Times. “He has shown this season, not just last night, that he is a top, top keeper. I think there is no doubt that he definitely deserves his chance for England.”
Forster denied Messi and Alexis Sanchez as Celtic produced an effective rearguard action to contain Barca.
Matthews who started in the back-four that was charged with protecting Forster also produced one of the performances of his young career.
A right-back by trade, he was asked to do a job on the left side of the Hoops defence due to injuries. And Lennon’s ploy of using the young Welshman in the left full-back position worked brilliantly.
Naturally strong on his right side he was able to combat the threat of the left-footed Messi who has known for his darting inside movements to get on his favoured left-foot.
However, the 20-year-old Wales defender, who started his career at Cardiff City insisted that he was just one cog in a fantastic team effort.
“As a player it is without doubt the highlight of my career,” he said.
“I thought that as a team we played really well. We took our chances and defended with our lives. We needed to try and stay calm in those frantic last few minutes and we stuck together.”
Celtic’s win leaves them second in Group G with seven points from their four games and a realistic proposition of reaching the knockout phase of the competition.
Next up is a trip to Portugal where they take on Benfica before they conclude the campaign with a home fixture against Spartak Moscow.
“It puts us in a good position now,” said Matthews.
“If we can play the way we did against Barcelona in our remaining two games then we will certainly give ourselves a chance.”