CELTIC’S first defeat in 2020 saw them hurtling out of Europe following a defensive display that must rank among the worst in the club’s recent history.
FC Copenhagen had three shots on target at Parkhead last night – and scored all three in a 3-1 Europa League triumph that propelled them through to the last-16 on a 4-2 aggregate.
It was an evening to wipe from the memory banks for anyone who played in the game and anyone who witnessed it. There was so much promise and anticipation in the east end of Glasgow for the occasion, but a series of blunders and unenforced errors saw Neil Lennon’s side lose for the second time in Europe at their one-time fortress – Cluj managed the feat in August with a 4-3 victory that saw the Hoops eliminated from the Champions League at the qualifying stage.
So, it was farewell to any thoughts of European glory, but, at least, the champions have much upon which to focus on the domestic front.
The Betfred League Cup has already been annexed – the team’s tenth successive domestic honour – and Lennon takes his troops to Perth on Sunday for the Scottish Cup quarter-final meeting with St Johnstone.
And, of course, the side sits at the Premiership pinnacle with a 12-point advantage.
However, after last night’s feeble defensive performance, the advice in the weeks ahead is clear: Shut that back door!
CQN’s ace lensmen were at Parkhead to capture the action. Here is the pick of the pics.
THE CALM BEFORE THE STORM…the Hoops line up for a team photo ahead of the kick-off.
BY THE LEFT…Kristoffer Ajer tries a shot.
ON THE BALL…Scott Brown tries to force the play.
FRENCH FANCY…Odsonne Edouard shows his skills.
ON THE RUN…Mohamed Elyounoussi threatens.
FAST TRACK…James Forrest races clear.
UP AND AT ‘EM…Christopher Jullien leads an air raid.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS…Callum McGregor and Carlos Zeca.
BOOMPS-A-DAISY…James Forrest is knocked off his stride.
EYES ON THE BALL… Tom Rogic adds his skills to the attack.
HIGH HOPES…Tom Rogic stretches as he tries the unorthodox.
WHACK…Tom Rogic fires in a left-foot drive.
WING AND A PRAYER…Greg Taylor sends over a left-wing cross.
IT TAKES TWO…Greg Taylor battles for possession.
WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT…Neil Lennon talks to Jozo Simunovic during the break in play for VAR.
ON THE SPOT…Odsonne Edouard is about to strike his nonchalant penalty-kick.
JOY BHOYS…goalscorer Odsonne Edouard is congratulated by skipper Scott Brown.
END GAME…Scott Brown and James Forrest can’t hide their disappointment.
THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES…it’s the end of the European adventure for James Forrest, Greg Taylor, Callum McGregor and Leigh Griffiths as they applaud the fans.