Throwing away their lead in Denmark on Wednesday night and feeling even more frustrated with the Champions League, Celtic saw their European ambitions go up in smoke once again following a 2-1 overtime defeat to Midtjylland.
Failing to get the job done on two legs after settling for a 1-1 draw in Glasgow last week, the Hoops’ slow foreign land defeat was the second time in two consecutive seasons that they have clashed in the second qualifying round.
Now failing to reach the Champions League group stage for the fourth time successfully, new boss Ange Postecoglou has a good job of rebuilding on his hands as he prepares for a drop-down in the Europa League.
On a night that saw Midtjylland staging a dramatic comeback in front of noisy home support, we took a look at the main talking points when the Danes overcame a lackluster Celtic.
Midtjylland sinks The Hoops
While Celtic’s latest collapse in the Champions League could steal most of this week’s titles, the ever-impressive Midtjylland deserves a lot of praise for what was another gritty performance while serving in Europe.
Even under the guidance of a new man on their bench and picking up their first win under Brian Priske thanks to a 1-0 win over AaB over the weekend, the former Bristol Rovers forward saw his side backed by a noisy home support Wednesday night.
By managing to pull off what some would call a real hit and grab home turf, the Wolves only grew in the game after Callum McGregor’s sublime opening, and returned to draw just 13 minutes later.
Watching struggling Celtic players quickly run out of gas in extra time and fail to threaten Jonas Lössl’s goal, 20-year-old Raphael Onyedika launched into Midtjylland people’s law with a well-deserved victory minutes after returning to play.
Taking advantage of The Hoops’ woes at the rear and overtaking Scott Bain from close range, the young Danes deserve all the applause as they approach another group stage adventure later in the year.
The wait for Postecoglou’s victory continues
With new captain Callum McGregor opening the scoring in Denmark with a spectacular volley just minutes from recovery, fans in Glasgow must have thought Celtic were well on their way to ending the curse of Champions League qualification.
However, missing a string of chances in the first leg at home last week, new manager Ange Postecoglou has seen his lightweight team put up another frustrating show as the Aussie manager awaits his first competitive win at the helm of The Hoops.
With striker Odsonne Edouard almost non-existent amid a series of speculations about his future, there is no doubt that James Forrest, who entered the second half, will still be ruining a golden opportunity just 40 seconds after joining. bench.
Given the possibility of practically closing the game after his initial attempt gently returned to him, the Scottish international could only put his past attempt on the wrong side of the post. Adding only insult to injury, Forrest and his teammates had to watch as Midtjylland’s Mabil headed Bain’s back right after their crucial mistake at the other end.
Celtic need signings now
Staging a stale performance on both sides of McGregor’s opening and really limping across the finish line in Denmark, there’s no question Celtic and their new boss will be desperate to bring in new arrivals before the transfer window closes. next month.
Watching key defender Nir Bitton miss Wednesday’s second leg through suspension and with a dwindling squad to choose from since his arrival at Celtic Park last month, Postecoglou expressed his need for new faces this summer.
With limited defensive options to choose from in Denmark and forcing 18-year-old Dane Murray to make a first start in what was a crucial foreign game, Celtic’s average age of defense was 21.
A club in the midst of a crisis, The Hoops’ new manager has also made the decision to leave goalkeeper Vasilis Barkas after yet another disastrous performance in last week’s first leg. With last year’s arrival in Scotland following his transfer from AEK Athens, Wednesday’s performance underscored that Celtic still have a number of positions that require urgent attention.
What’s next for both of us?
By managing to put an end to Celtic’s Champions League ambitions for a fourth-year comeback mid-week, Midtjylland will already know they face another tough test next week.
Desperate to secure two consecutive group stage appearances in Europe’s biggest tournament this season, the Dannes will make the trip to the Netherlands on 2 August when they face a high-flying PSV at Philips Stadion. The former Dutch champions managed to extend their adventure with a stunning 7-2 overall win against Galatasaray.
As for Celtic, who mark the opening of their 2021/22 campaign this weekend with a trip to Tynecastle Park, Postecoglou will also have to plan as his squalid side return to the Europa League.
The Hoops will make the trip to Czech side FK Jablonec in the third qualifying round next week in a showdown that suddenly matters.
Report of the match
FC Midtjylland: Lossl (7), Anderson (7), Dalsgaard (6.5), Sviatchenko (7.5), Paulinho (7), Juninho (7), Evander (6.5), Mabil (7.5), Rigon Matos (7), Brumado (6.5) , Sixtus (8)
Subtitles: Nicolaisen (5.5), Cools (6), Onyedika (7.5), Dyhr (6), Lind (6.5), Hansen (7)
Celtic: Bain (6), Ralston (7.5), Gallese (5.5), Murray (5.5), Taylor (6.5), Turnbull (6.5), Soro (6.5), McGregor (7 ), Christie (6), Abada (5.5), Edoardo (3.5)
Subtitles: Forrest (7), Rogic (5), Ajeti (4), Montgomery (6)
Aims: Midtjylland: Mabil 61 ′, Onyedika 94 ′ – Celtic: McGregor 48 ′
yellow cards: Midtjylland: Evander, Brumado, Sisto – Celtic: Walsh, Soro, Edouard, Ajeti
red cards: N / A
Referee: Bartosz Frankowski