FORMER Celtic striker Chris Sutton fears Callum McGregor’s late miss against Borussia Monchengladbach could cost Brendan Rodgers’ side the chance of extending their stay in Europe beyond the turn of the year.
With the score standing at 1-1 in Germany on Tuesday night and only three minutes remaining, Patrick Roberts set up his fellow-sub with an exquisite through pass.
McGregor, remarkably, contrived to miss the target from six yards with only the keeper to beat and the Hoops had to be content with one point.
Sutton said: “Celtic could have won the match. In fact, they should have. Monchengladbach had their chances in the 90 minutes. They could have been 2-0 up and the game would have been over.
“They didn’t, though, and then Celtic had THE chance.
“I don’t want to heap it all on Callum McGregor, but I fear his miss near the end is going to prove to be absolutely crucial.
“There is a real possibility they will be looking back at the end of the group and realising that was the moment that cost the side European football after Christmas.
“That was how huge it was. Barcelona losing at Manchester City means it will be a dogfight between those two for the all-important top spot and I can’t see either of them losing any of their last two games to Celtic or Monchengladbach.
“I’m not saying Celtic are out, but let’s be realistic here. We’re talking about having to win against sides who are more than capable of going all the way in this competition.
“It’s an enormous ask, which is why that McGregor chance had to be put in the back of the net.
“When you’re playing against good sides such as Monchengladbach, you’re praying for that one opportunity to come along.
“Even against 10 men, it’s difficult, but you want that one opening to clinch it.
“That was the moment and, unfortunately, Celtic didn’t quite have the quality to finish it, that crucial bit of composure in the final third.”