SHATTERED Celtic boss Ronny Deila saw the club flop big-style in Malmo and said: “Blame me.”
The Norwegian accepted the responsibility for the Hoops’ “scared” and “stressed” display in the 2-0 defeat against the Swedish champions who now go through to elite stages on a 4-3 aggregate.
Following two routine corner-kicks, Malmo captain Markus Rosenberg and substitute Felipe Carvalho struck for the home side while Nir Bitton had a legitimate goal disallowed just before the break.
Deila was unhappy with his side’s abysmal performance, though, and said they didn’t play like a unit when it mattered the most.
He said: “We performed not even close to what we can do.
“We have played well in many, many games this season, but we looked scared and uncomfortable on the ball and very stressed and that’s my responsibility.
“So, I have to go through what happened and learn from this. That’s so important.
“We have to get better, that’s the main thing. Now we were close but when you have a performance like this we don’t deserve to get in there.
“These are big games for Celtic. Everybody wants to get through. Everybody wants to play well. but we didn’t play as a team.
“You learn through experiences, but this experience was very hard. The opportunity was there, but in the end we didn’t deserve it and we are very disappointed.
“If the performance had been fantastic and we lost then you can deal with it, but it was a disappointing performance and that is even tougher.”
Deila has now failed at the last three hurdles to get Celtic into the Champions League group stages after last season’s double disaster against Legia Warsaw and Maribor. Now Malmo have been added to that list of shame.
Even worse is the fact that not one of the teams comes close to the category of being rated top class in Europe.