Tag: Celtic

Europa League: Celtic v Inter, Liverpool v Besiktas

Celtic have been drawn against Inter Milan in the last 32 of the Europa League, with Liverpool facing Turkish side Besiktas.

Tottenham play Serie A side Fiorentina, Everton face Swiss club Young Boys, while holders Sevilla are up against Borussia Monchengladbach.

Europa League last-32 draw

Young Boys v Everton
Torino v Athletic Bilbao
Sevilla v Borussia Monchengladbach
Wolfsburg v Sporting Lisbon
Ajax v Legia Warsaw
Aalborg v Club Brugge
Anderlecht v Dynamo Moscow
Dnipro v Olympiakos
Trabzonspor v Napoli
Guingamp v Dynamo Kiev
Villarreal v Red Bull Salzburg
Roma v Feyenoord
PSV Eindhoven v Zenit St Petersburg
Liverpool v Besiktas
Tottenham v Fiorentina
Celtic v Inter Milan

The two legs will be played on 19 and 26 February 2015.

This season’s Europa League winners will qualify for next year’s Champions League play-offs.

Celtic’s tie against Inter Milan is a repeat of the 1967 European Cup final in Lisbon, which the Glasgow side won 2-1 to become Britain’s first European champions.

Inter, who appointed former Manchester City boss Roberto Mancini as their manager for a second time in November, are 12th in Italy’s top flight.

Tottenham could come up against England defender Micah Richards, who is on loan at Fiorentina from City. It is a first meeting between the London and Florence clubs.

Liverpool, who entered the Europa League after finishing third in their Champions League group behind Real Madrid and Basle, last played Besiktas in the 2007/8 season, winning 8-0 at Anfield.

Besiktas board member Ahmet Nur Cebi said: “Liverpool should be more concerned about us than we are about them. We will knock Liverpool out of the competition. There is an account which wasn’t settled in England from previous years. Yes, I mean that 8-0 defeat. We’ll settle the account now.”

Everton have never faced Young Boys before.

Read more at BBC Sport

Europa League: Dinamo Zagreb 4-3 Celtic

Poor defending cost Celtic away to Dinamo Zagreb as a Marko Pjaca hat-trick ensured they finished Europa League Group D with a defeat.

Kris Commons and Stefan Scepovic scored in-between two first-half Pjaca strikes, who netted again following Marcelo Brozovic’s curling shot.

Josip Pivaric’s late own goal gave Celtic hope of an equaliser.

But they fell short of a fourth but took away the consolation of having already qualified for the last 32.

With a place in the knock-out stages already secured, Ronny Deila picked a makeshift team with captain Scott Brown and Scotland team-mate James Forrest both rested.

However, the defending will concern the Norwegian manager with Celtic continuing to ship goals in Europe.

With John Guidetti still cup-tied, Deila rearranged his front men with Wakaso, Commons and Scepovic all given rare starts in an eerily near-empty Stadion Maksimir.

The latter two linked up for an early Celtic chance that goalkeeper Eduardo had to parry clear, but Zagreb fired an early warning when Hillar Soudani slipped the ball into the near post from an offside position.

It only delayed the opening goal. Pjaca nipped into a similar position and collected Arijan Ademi’s through ball, turned Adam Matthews inside out and picked his spot past Craig Gordon.

Celtic were not trailing for long, although the equaliser had a large touch of fortune about it.

Van Dijk’s free-kick rattled off the back of Nir Bitton, deceiving the Zagreb defence and allowing Commons to head into the net.

Celtic were beginning to warm to the task and within six minutes were ahead.

Commons curled in another free-kick that this time cannoned off the bar. Bitton headed the rebound into the path of Scepovic who had his back to goal but turned and directed the ball in from close range.

However, just when it looked like Celtic were growing in confidence, they kicked themselves in the foot.

Matthews swiped fresh air allowing Pjaca to take the ball past him and finish via a deflection off Bitton.

Brozovic could have made it three moments from Pjaca’s lay-off, but Gordon was equal to his shot.

The Celtic goalkeeper was busy again after the break, pulling off a double save to deny Soudani then Ademi, but he could do little about Zagreb’s third.

Domagoj Antolic cut the ball back for Brozovic, whose curling shot inside the near post was out of the top drawer.

Before Celtic could settle, Zagreb had grabbed a fourth.

Pjaca was given too much space outside the box and he thumped a long-range shot well beyond the despairing dive of Gordon.

If Celtic were shipping goals for fun, so were Zagreb and Emilio Izaguirre gave the Scottish champions hope when his cut back was diverted into the net by Pivaric.

Celtic sensed an equaliser and went on the front foot.

Henderson had Eduardo scrambling back to tip his shot over the bar before Van Dijk headed across goal and Scepovic hit a post, but they could not find a fourth goal.

Read more at BBC Sport

Europa League: Celtic 1-3 FC Red Bull Salzburg

Celtic qualified for the knockout stage of the Europa League despite falling to defeat at home to Salzburg.

Salzburg’s win secured the Austrian’s top spot in Group D, with Alan scoring twice in the first-half and Naby Keita adding another late on.

Celtic’s riposte came from Stefan Johansen and they played more assuredly after the break, but they were undone by Salzburg’s initial zeal.

Astra defeat Dynamo Zagreb in Romania to ensure Celtic finished second.

Celtic were immediately swamped. If Ronny Deila had not been so grim-faced and concerned at the alarming lack of resistance amongst his own players, he would have admired Salzburg’s accomplishment.

The visitors were everything the Celtic manager would wish his own side could be: swift of thought and movement, incisive, quick and precise in their passing, and capable of winning the ball back effectively. The home side were overwhelmed.

Salzburg came into the game as the highest scorers in the competition and the effectiveness of their attack was clear.

There was an element of good fortune about the early goal. Massimo Bruno’s shot was deflected in an arc over the Celtic defence, with the ball dropping to Alan inside the area, with the striker prodding a volley into the net.

Martin Hinteregger’s header demanded a sharp save from Craig Gordon, but the visitors could not be contained.

Four minutes after opening the scoring, Alan added a second. He was a lithe, elusive figure up front, and the Celtic defenders were leaden footed in comparison.

When Andre Ramalho headed a corner on, Alan reacted first and converted from close range.

There was almost a third, when the impressive Jonathan Soriano swept in a free-kick, but as Gordon correctly realised the referee had awarded an indirect set piece.

With Salzburg playing a narrow formation, they could command the midfield, but that also left Celtic with hope on the flanks. It took 30 minutes for a foray to become meaningful, but when Emilio Izaguirre hurled in a cross from the left Johansen finished crisply and accurately.

The goal revived the Celtic support and brought renewed purpose to the home side. It was clear why Salzburg have such an impressive European record though, because they were unfazed. They kept their poise but also their sense of adventure, and one counter-attack took just three quick passes to cover the length of the field.

Celtic were more composed after the interval. They lacked a cutting edge, though, which prompted some fans to holler for James Forrest to be brought on. The sense was that if the game was to be rescued, Celtic needed to be more threatening.

There was a reminder, too, of the danger the visitors still carried. A break upfield saw Soriano and Bruno exchange passes, but the former finished weakly from the edge of the area, sending the ball trundling wide.

Salzburg were capable of a casual aplomb, but they could also be unnerved. Celtic came close when Leigh Griffiths saw a header from Izaguirre’s cross saved, but the equaliser wouldn’t come.

Instead, the substitute Keita added a third with a header after a Salzburg counter attack.

Read more at BBC Sport

Champions League: Celtic reinstated to Champions League after Legia Warsaw error

Celtic have been reinstated to the Champions League after Legia Warsaw were punished for fielding an ineligible player.

Legia won the third qualifying round tie 6-1 on aggregate but brought on Bartosz Bereszynski in the second leg, while he was supposed to be suspended.

As a result Celtic were handed a 3-0 ‘walkover’ win for the second leg, taking them through on away goals.

Celtic will play Maribor of Slovenia in the play-offs later this month.

And Legia Warsaw have been drawn to play Aktobe of Kazakhstan in the Europa League play-off.

“It is very strange, I have to say that,” said Celtic manager Ronny Deila, whose Norwegian countryman Henning Berg is in charge of Legia.

“First of all I feel very sorry for Legia, and my friends from Norway there. It is tough to think of that and now we are in the Champions League.

“Legia played well against us, they put in good performances but this is nothing to do with Celtic. It is about UEFA.

“It is not my business. It is a club thing and a UEFA thing.

“It is a tough decision and I really feel sorry for Legia but we have to go into the game and prepare for Maribor.

“The players want to play in the Champions League. It looks like we have been given another chance and I think it will be no problem to get the players up for the game.”

Legia have five days to appeal and have asked for Uefa’s reasoning.

The Polish champions, who now take Celtic’s place in the Europa League play-offs, won the first leg 4-1 and the second 2-0.

Read More on BBC Sport

Champions League: Arsenal face Besiktas

Arsenal will play Turkish side Besiktas in the Champions League play-off round, while Celtic face Slovenian champions Maribor after being reinstated.

The Gunners have appeared in the group stages of the Champions League in each of the past 14 seasons.

Celtic lost 6-1 to Legia Warsaw in qualifying, but the Polish champions fielded an ineligible player.

Scottish champions Celtic will play Maribor in a two-legged match with the winners advancing into the main Champions League group stage.

It is a second chance for the Bhoys after they lost 4-1 in the first leg of their third qualifying round tie in Poland, and 2-0 at home in the second leg on Wednesday.

Champions League play-off round

Maribor (Slovenia) v Celtic (Scotland)

Salzburg (Austria) v Malmo (Sweden)

Aalborg (Denmark) v Apoel Nicosia (Cyprus)

Steaua Bucharest (Romania) v Ludogorets (Bulgaria)

Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia) v BATE Borisov (Belarus)

Besiktas (Turkey) v Arsenal (England)

Standard Liege (Belgium) v Zenit St Petersburg (Russia)

FC Copenhagen (Denmark) v Bayer Leverkusen (Germany)

Lille (France) v Porto (Portugal)

Napoli (Italy) v Athletic Bilbao (Spain)


Read More on BBC Sport

Champions League: Legia Warsaw investigated by Uefa for fielding ‘ineligible’ player against Celtic

Legia Warsaw’s 6-1 aggregate victory over Celtic is under investigation after the Polish club allegedly fielded an ineligible player

Celtic could be handed a sensational Champions League reprieve after Uefa launched an investigation into the eligibility of one of Legia Warsaw’s players during their 6-1 aggregate win over the Scottish champions.

The Polish side confirmed that they had been asked for information from the European governing body.

A statement on Legia’s official website read: “The club announces that in connection with the Celtic FC-Legia Warsaw match in the second leg of the third qualifying round of the Champions League, Uefa opened an investigation into the participation of Bartosz Bereszynskiego.

“The club is preparing the relevant information and explanations, which will be sent to Uefa today.

“The result of the investigation will be announced immediately after its completion.”

Read More on The Guardian


Champions League: Celtic 2-1 Legia Warsaw

Celtic’s ambitions of a third successive Champions League campaign foundered as they crashed to a 2-0 defeat at Murrayfield.

They never looked like turning around the 4-1 first-leg deficit.

The Celtic defence seemed to part as Michal Zyro and Michal Kucharczyk sealed their fate.

It is a crushing blow for Ronny Deila, whose predecessor Neil Lennon guided the club into the last 16 two years ago and into the group stage last season.

Those two campaigns earned Celtic in the region of £33m in prize money alone.

While they still have a chance of a Europa League run, the absence of Champions League football is a massive financial blow, to say nothing of the prestige that comes with playing in Europe’s premier competition.

Read More on BBC Sport