Squeaky bum comes to mind after tonight’s result , let me firstly say what a real good game of champions league football witnessed tonight, at 2-0 after goals from Griffiths and Biton it was looking so good we controlled the first half and Malmö weren’t that much of a threat in the opening exchanges , but like we all know things can turn on a sixpence in this competition and the Swedish outfit certainly played better second half , it’s ironic that an old Celtic player would come back to haunt us Berget would score midway through the 2nd half with a wonderful strike and as Celtic battled away eventually scoring a 3 rd from man of the match for me Griffiths , Berget would again score from close range inside stoppage time to make it 3-2 to Celtic….
So hence the squeaky bum comment, next Tuesday night in Sweden Celtic will have a 1 goal lead to defend , thing is should we defend or attack , the game is now on a knife-edge and will hopefully be as good a tie as tonight’s , Malmö will feel confident that they can win the game , Celtic also can take heart from some decent away performances in Europe recent times , at 3-1….. I would have said I was confident we could finish the job, now alough we have a one goal lead its nervous times ahead , we have the comfort of knowing no matter what we will still be playing European football but I’m sure Ronnie and the Bhoys want a crack at Europe’s elite in the champions league….
The parachute of Europa league football group stages is comforting but there’s big money to be made first ,and if Celtic can come through this tie on Tuesday night we can all look forward to the draw,maybe the gods will be kind and put us in a group that’s not the so-called group of death for once,whatever happens these games are to be enjoyed the fans were again on top form tonight ,ok the scoreline would suggest there wasnt much between the teams but at 3-1 and the game going into added time Celtic were good for that result had it happened Berget and Malmo had other ideas and im sure they will be mighty releaved to get such a late goal ,a lot of positives can be taken from the game we won and Griffiths scored another 2 goals …
We played some fine attacking football and down both flanks we ran them a bit ragged ,we can definitely breech their goal next week ,the work that will need to be done between now and then will be with our defence for some reason were leaking to many goals and its an area we had been strong in,for whatever reason Ronnie and the coaches will have to put a lid on the problems and fast,Armstrong and Lustig both got injures in the game and it was sad to see the big swede Lustig so upset,he obviously knew another spell on the sidelines was inevitable,hopefully both players will be ok soon ,we go to tannadice on Saturday for a lunchtime game against Dundee utd before flying out for the second leg in Sweden Tuesday 25th August ,ALL THE BEST BHOYS HH
Official Match Report
UEFA Champions League play-off first-leg
Celtic Park, Glasgow
Wednesday, August 19, 2015
(Griffiths 3, 62, Bitton 10)
(Berget 52, 90 +4)
LEIGH Griffiths bagged a brilliant brace as Celtic edged Malmo 3-2 in Paradise – but they were only seconds away from taking a more commanding lead into next week’s UEFA Champions League play-off second-leg.Griffiths showed admirable composure to open the scoring from Stefan Johansen’s pass in the third minute.Nir Bitton headed home from Johansen’s corner seven minutes later as the Hoops ran the visitors ragged in the opening stages. The Bhoys could have added to their tally as they dominated the remainder of the first half, but their lead was reduced early after the restart as former Celt Jo-Inge Berget blasted in from an acute angle.
But Griffiths was not to be denied and his opportunist header in the 62nd minute put Ronny Deila’s side back in pole position. And it looked as though they would take a two-goal lead back to Sweden for the second-leg until Berget struck at the death, smashing home after a corner had ricocheted around the box. James Forrest replaced Gary Mackay-Steven on the right-wing as the manager made one change to the side that defeated Inverness Caley Thistle 4-2 in the league on Saturday.Amid a thunderous din, Celtic immediately took the game to the visitors, with Forrest earning a corner inside the first 30 seconds. Johansen’s flighted delivery was won by Virgil van Dijk, with the loose ball almost falling for Griffiths.
The home side’s purposeful start was rewarded within the third minute as Griffiths made the breakthrough. Stuart Armstrong drove inside before finding Johansen who delivered a precise first-time pass into Griffiths. He remained calm, coolly rolling the ball under the advancing Johan Wiland.Paradise duly erupted and they soon had further reason to celebrate as the Hoops quickly doubled their advantage. Armstrong reached the byline and his cross was headed behind. From Johansen’s resultant corner, Bitton planted a header beyond Wiland to spark delirium in the stands.Malmo were reeling and Celtic were rampant. Only a low save from Wiland prevented Johansen making it 3-0 after Griffiths had teed-up the Norwegian in the box in the 13th minute.
The visitors were struggling to stem the tide as Ronny Deila’s side attacked at a furious pace and pressed relentlessly without the ball. Another incisive break from the lively Forrest presented Griffiths with a sight of goal, the striker flashing a shot into the side-netting.Midway through the half Malmo mustered their first effort on goal as Vladimir Rodic was first to a loose ball on the edge of the box, with Craig Gordon turning the winger’s shot past the post.A sublime pass from Bitton had the away side quickly on the back foot again, however. Mikael Lustig scampered on to the Israeli internationalist’s through ball but his fizzing cutback had no takers in the middle.
Are Hareide’s side were growing into the contest, but ambitious long-range shots from Nikola Djurdic and Rodic and a deflected shot from Jo-Inge Berget were all they had to show for their efforts.At the other end, the Bhoys always looked more menacing. Armstrong sent a rasping drive inches beyond the far post, before a sweeping move almost saw Forrest reach Griffiths’ return pass.Erdal Rakip blazed over for Malmo as they searched in vain for some kind of reply prior to the interval.
It had been a fantastic first half from the Scottish champions and they immediately sought about reasserting their dominance after the restart but a quick breakaway saw them undone.From a Celtic corner, the ball was knocked clear and when Magnus Eikrem’s missed everyone in the middle, it fell for Berget, and he lashed a powerful drive from an acute angle beyond Gordon.Filled with renewed belief, Malmo poured forward and almost grabbed a leveller as Djurdic’s thumping drive brought out a superb save from Gordon.However, the Hoops soon recovered from that setback and were back in full stride, with Griffiths smashing a shot off a defender after the ball had dropped for him at the back post.
And less than 10 minutes later, the two-goal cushion was restored. Lustig’s searching centre was only partially cleared and Griffiths displayed brilliant determination to loop a header over Wiland.As Celtic defended resolutely, it looked as though they would head to Malmo in complete control of the tie, a Djurdic shot that flew wide their only meaningful attempt as the clock ticked down.However, right at the death, Berget reacted quickest as a corner was knocked down by substitute Felipe Carvalho to stun Paradise and leave the Hoops with only a slender one-goal lead and plenty of work to do to keep their UEFA Champions League dream alive.
CELTIC (4-2-3-1): Gordon; Lustig (Ambrose 80) Boyata, Van Dijk, Izaguirre; Brown, Bitton; Forrest, Johansen, Armstrong (Mackay-Steven 63); Griffiths (Ciftci 73)
Not Used: Bailly, Commons, Rogic, Mulgrew
MALMO FF (4-4-2) Wiland; Tinnerholm, Arnason, Bengtsson, Yotun; Rodic, Lewicki, Rakip (Sana 81) Berget; Eikrem (Carvalho 72) Djurdic
Not Used: Anderson, Konate, Molnis, Mehmeti, Vindheim
SAT 22 AUG 2015 –
Dundee UtdvCeltic 12:00
TUE 25 AUG 2015
(agg 2 – 3) 19:45
SAT 29 AUG 2015
CelticvSt Johnstone 15:00
SAT 12 SEP 2015