Celtic manager Gordon Strachan described Aiden McGeady as "awesome" after his performance against Benfica in the Champions League.

The Ireland international capped a dazzling display in Glasgow on Tuesday by scoring the only goal of the game on the stroke of half-time - albeit with the help of a deflection off a defender.

But McGeady proved a constant source of irritation to Benfica's defenders on the left wing.

Not only did his pace and quick footwork create countless chances for the Celtic attack, but his determination to chase back and harass his opponents when they had the ball ensured he earned the praise of his manager.

Strachan said: "I won't say it many times in my managerial career but Aiden's performance was awesome.

"He's made some subtle changes to his game which he has taken on board.

"There are only certain players you can say 'have a look at this'. Along with his technical ability his physical ability is fantastic.

"When I go to the gym there are only a few players there but he's always there. Funnily enough the ones that are seem to be the ones who are playing.

"He's now using that God-given talent and he's enhancing it, which is great for him and first class for us.

"I love watching players when they are enjoying themselves but he's enjoying himself for us and even when he doesn't have the ball he is a good team-mate."

Celtic's 1-0 victory means they still have a chance of repeating last season's feat of qualifying for the last 16 of the Champions League.

Following AC Milan's 3-0 victory away to Shakhtar Donetsk, Celtic are now level with the team from Ukraine on six points, while the Italians are on nine and Benfica are on three.

And Celtic's next game in Group D at home to Donetsk on Wednesday 28 November, could now be the decider on which of them go through.

Strachan is satisfied with where his side sit after four games in the section.

The Celtic boss said: "We're in good form, we're still in there competing and I've been happy with our performances in the Champions League matches so far.

"I'm not nervous about our chances. I've been involved in relegation battles and they take years off you so this is fine."

Due to the international break Celtic's next game is not until a league game at home to Aberdeen on 24 November and Strachan is satisfied with how the season is progressing so far.

He said: "It's nice to be going into a break after a terrific win at Kilmarnock and brilliant result against Benfica so we can go away quite happy. "We've played some terrific football this season and I'm really pleased.

"Our game has improved this season, we're scoring more goals and we wanted a striker who scores more goals and we have that in Scott McDonald. So we've added that to our game and I'm really pleased with them."

Benfica had started Tuesday's game brightly and Oscar Cardozo, who scored the only goal of the game when the side's met less than two weeks previously in Lisbon, was twice denied by Celtic's Polish goalkeeper Artur Boruc in the opening 12 minutes.

But in the 45th minute Celtic's Czech midfielder Jiri Jarosik spread the ball wide to McGeady and the 21-year-old took a touch, skipped inside and blasted a right-foot drive beyond goalkeeper Quim, with the aid of a deflection off Brazilian defender Luisao.

Benfica were reduced to 10 men when Cameroon player Augustin Binya was shown a straight red card in the 86th minute for an ugly over-the-ball challenge on Scott Brown.