herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Celtic dealt harsh Legia lesson

Deila's side are Euro-thrashed in Warsaw and need a Murrayfield miracle after 4-1 loss to Berg side

Celtic's Mikael Lustig, left, and Legia's Michal Kucharczyk. Picture: Czarek Sokolowski/AP
Celtic's Mikael Lustig, left, and Legia's Michal Kucharczyk. Picture: Czarek Sokolowski/AP

CELTIC endured a torrid night in Poland as Ronny Delia's side crashed to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Legia Warsaw.

The scoreline leaves the Hoops staring at a Champions League exit and could have been much worse if Legia hadn't missed two penalty kicks.

Adding to Celtic's problems was a first half red card for Efe Ambrose with the night quickly falling apart despite taking the lead through Callum McGregor.

There were plenty of surprises in Deila's team selection with Jo Inge Berget, signed on loan from Cardiff on Monday, making his debut with Anthony Stokes and Leigh Griffiths relegated to the bench.

Changes

In defence Adam Matthews was picked at left-back ahead of Emilio Izaguirre who had to join Stokes and Griffiths on the bench.

Despite those changes Celtic got off to the perfect start in the seventh minute when McGregor fired a 20 yard drive high into the top corner of the net,, but just two minutes later the home side were level.

Miroslav Radovic pounced on a slip by Matthews then drilled a 15 yard drive through Fraser Forster as the home fans turned the volume up a few notches.

Celtic were enjoying plenty of possession but were finding openings difficult to create while Legia looked lively on the counter-attack against a hesitant Celtic defence.

Midway through the first half Kris Commons shook off his marker to create an opening but his shot from 25 yards flew inches over the crossbar.

The Hoops were looking reasonably comfortable at 1-1 but before the interval they were hit by a double blow as Radovic put the Poles in front with Ambrose red-carded shortly afterwards.

Eight minutes from the break the Celtic defence was cut wide by a cross from the right that Ondrej Duda headed back across the face of goal for Radovic to slide in behind Ambrose and net from six yards out.

Five minutes later the Nigerian defender was shown a straight red card for downing Radovic as he raced towards goal with the only consolation being that the free-kick wasn't converted.

Beram Kayal replaced Teemu Pukki at the break to add some strength in the middle of the park but the Hoops defence was just as vulnerable despite Charlie Mulgrew moving back to partner Virgil van Dijk.

Forster blocked brilliantly from Michal Zyro in the 54th minute with the hoops enjoying another let-off four minutes later when Ivica Vrdoljak rolled a penalty past the post.

Forster blocked brilliantly from Michal Zyro in the 54th minute with the Hoops enjoying another let off four minutes later when Ivica Vrdoljak rolled a penalty past the post.

Six minutes from the end Zyro headed home to give the Poles a two-goal lead with Vrdoljak missing a second penalty when Forster saved to keep the tie alive but there was still time for Jakub Kosecki to add a fourth to complete a night of misery for the Hoops.

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