Qarabag assistant suggests defensive tactics


Qarabag assistant manager, Avtandil Hajiyev, spoke to the media ahead of tomorrow’s game against Celtic. This is what he had to say:

“Celtic were strong favourites before the first leg but the 0-1 score suggests that nothing is over yet. The main struggle for both teams lies ahead.

“It’s a pity the game was not on TV as you would have seen that we had the advantage.

“We played well throughout the game, although you could not point to one single area where we were most dominant, but there were periods when Qarabag were on top. If you take the game as a whole, we performed better than Celtic.

“A small defeat away was a good result. Celtic are strong, they even managed to beat Barcelona at home. Eorpean clubs have difficulty at Celtic Park, but we provided decent resistance. 0-1 is not so depressing, we can achieve a result this week which will allow us to progress.

“Tactically, there is little difference between a 0-0 and a 0-1 defeat. We know we have to score one goal with either result to stay in the tie, so our approach will not change because of the goal.

“The return game will also be defensive but we will attack more. The Scots know and have probably already analysed our attacks, but I believe Gurban Gurbanov (Qarabeg manager) will have a few surprises in attack.

“The players have had time to analyse what happened in the first game. Our preparations are complete.

“Celtic can score in Baku but I believe the Qarabag defence will play safe and keep their goal intact.”

It’s a pity we all missed those periods when Qarabag were on top.

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  1. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Crucial to score tomorrow, as I think we will do well to not concede in 90 minutes out there.






    As a result Commons must start. For set-plays alone, if nothing else.






    Shift key should start also. With JF and the Griff to come on from the bench, and hopefully pick them off with pace, near the end as they tire.






    Seemed to work in my dream last night anyway!






    Hail Hail

  2. the glorious balance sheet on

    The bookies had us as clear favourites to beat Legia Warsaw last season and then even stronger favourites again to beat Maribor.



    They got both of those wrong.



    I therefore am not guided by the betting odds as an indicator of what lies ahead tomorrow night. Looking at what i saw with my own eyes at Celtic Park last week I’d say we are up against a very well organised, disciplined and stuffy side who do not concede many goals at this level.



    They made us only look threatening from set pieces.



    Thankfully they don’t tend to score many at this level either.



    They were though good enough to net twice at home to Salzburg last season on their way to a 2-1 win.



    I’ve no idea what their forward gears are like but with only a goal in it I would say the tie is finely balanced. We’re 50/50 to go through in my view.



    Lose an early goal or go down to 10 men and that changes massively.



    As it does the other way if we score.



    I can see qarabag playing the same way as they did at Celtic Park, trying not to concede until the 70th minute and if they manage that i expect the kitchen sink to be thrown at us.



    Plus lots of diving throughout the game.



    It’s going to be very tight and nervy IMO.

  3. Geordie Munro on




    Jims odds are to qualify after the first leg.






    We were not favourites to qualify after the first leg in Poland last season.

  4. I’m going to stick by my prediction I made 2 weeks ago before a ball was kicked.



    That was a 1-0 home win, followed by a 2-1 away defeat…. And we squeak by on away goals.




    I see the game unfolding tmoro night, that Quarabag take the lead around 18 to 20mins mark.


    However we will equalise either just before half time, or just after the re-start.


    We will then go in to defensive mode.


    Quarabag will squander some chances, but go 2-1 in front around 83/84 mins…



    We will then endure a nitemare last 10mins, and Craig Gordon will pull off at least 2 world class saves to allow us progress to the knock out phase.



    You herd it here first.

  5. Captain Beefheart on

    Failure tomorrow would be an absolute disaster. I expect us to score though and scrape through.



    Will Legia protest about UEFA rules again?

  6. Geordie Munro on

    “the knowledge that in a lot of these games, we’re 2-0 down after 8 minutes or so.”










    A lot?? I canny think of many.






    Celtic played 7 ties away from home in Europe last season and took the lead first in 5 of them.



    Keeping a hold of that lead is another matter :)







  7. a light insanity on

    They were a poor but stuffy team last week. Celtic played poorly. Who knows what they will be like at home. Don’t know if Commons is the answer but we need creativity behind the striker. GMS free role.


    Can’t see why posters suggest Ciftci must start. Whilst I appreciate that the pitch might lend itself to long ball tactics, my view is that Griffiths is actually very good at holding the ball up and is certainly more of an outlet over the top or into the channels. With Ciftci, you have to hit the man each time. Griffiths won’t be as static and offers an out ball too.

  9. Joe Filippis Haircut on

    I think Ronny will start with Cifti tomorrow as it appears he believes Cifti can hold the ball and bring others into the game I have seen nothing as yet from the player who looks like a poor mans Samaras.The key to wither we progress to the next qualifyer or not will be how the defence play we cannot afford any daft errors for me we appear performance wise to have stalled I just hope Ronny and John can get the team to up there game or I think we may not progress.H.H.

  10. bournesouprecipe on

    Good luck to ole Georgios Samaras who is allegedly at ‘the centre of a transfer tussle’ between Sampdoria and New York Cosmos, having already turned down Bursapor of Turkey.






    CelticLegends csc

  11. No worry’s tomorrow from this hoop, we’ll score three goals without reply.




  12. too good not to share….. from the blue sea of ibrox site….dont tnink its a wind up..but very funny..




    the 84th minute of Sunday’s game will live long in the memory. Not because of a great goal or due to the sublime piece of skill produced by James Tavernier, but because I believe that in years to come, when Rangers fans reflect on the ‘journey’ through the lower leagues, it will come to represent one of the defining moments of Rangers’ renaissance under Mark Warburton. It will be seen as the moment when the players and supporters united to announce to the country that the Rangers were back with a vengeance.



    James Tavernier scurried after a loose ball which had been flashed across the face of goal by Kenny Miller. Those who have filled Ibrox week in, week out for the last three seasons would have come to expect that those in royal blue would have given up at the sight of seeing the ball run away from them; deemed it a lost cause. But Tavernier not only bust a gut in retrieving it, he back-heeled the ball around the onrushing Peterhead defender before cutting it back to Waghorn who ballooned the ball over the bar.



    You may say this was not anything to rave about, – and you’d be right – but for those who took to their feet and roared like the ball had hit the back of the net as opposed to CF3, it was a way of showing their gratitude to the players for bringing to an end the three year footballing famine which has seen them starved of a team they recognise or have any sort of affinity with.



    At the start of ‘Stage One’ in Division Three the message was: ‘you have to stick by the club during the bad times in order to appreciate the good’. And on Sunday it has never rung truer. It may only have been a misplaced shot against Peterhead, but to understand what triggered the rousing reception it received you had to have endured the torture of the last three years.



    You had to have been there when Rory McAllister was made to look like Ibrahimović, when Queen of the South dumped us out on penalties, when Raith beat us in extra time to win the Ramsden’s Cup. You had to have went through the despair and emptiness which followed Annan beating us on home soil, Hibs being 3-0 up at half-time and Motherwell hammering us 3-1 in the play-offs. There were dozens more low points to choose from on the road to the 84th minute on Sunday but it made the months of soul-searching which no doubt every Rangers fan has gone through seem worthwhile.



    It may sound cliché, but the twenty second long crescendo of noise which echoed around the famous stadium with the passion and pride you associate with the Rangers of old was enough to make the hairs on the back of my neck stand up. The way the crowd initially only casually applauded what must have been the twentieth attempt on goal showed how much progress the team has made. But as Waghorn recovered his breath and Tavernier raced back into position they knew they had to show the eleven on the park that they weren’t taking the football on display for granted.



    From applause it grew into a cheer as Ibrox rose to their feet and then, as everyone in the stadium almost simultaneously realised the poignancy of the moment, the wave of sound gathered pace and volume and transformed into a thunderous roar – the sort of roar which usually comes when the crowd are urging the players forward when they’re a goal down not two up. It was no longer an appreciation of the move, it was the crowd gesturing that they had their Rangers back and the players recognised that too as it seemed to move them up another gear for the last five minutes. The thought that their club would never get back on track or that it would have to downsize to a scale never seen before had been a distinct possibility for too long but it was no longer a worry, the DNA of their football club had been restored.



    You may have paid for your ticket expecting to see nothing more than a customary victory against Peterhead but you may just have gotten more than you bargained for. It was one of those moments where no words will ever do it justice, you have to have been there. In fact, you had to have been there in the dark days of Division Three, League One and last season’s Championship to appreciate just how special it really was.



    If Warburton’s task was to “send the fans home happy” then this Ibrox Roar left him in no doubt as to whether he accomplished that task on his competitive home debut.

  13. I think Caftci ill start up front tomorrow. Griffiths took a knock at the weekend so must be some sort of a risk. Also with the domestic ban it makes sense for the two layers to share the role for now.







    Feckin hilarious!






    Deluded does not do them justice.







  15. The Comfortable Collective on

    My prediction for tomorrow.



    Qarabaq are winning 2-0 and with the last kick of the ball Celtic are are awarded a penalty.



    And then three or four players start arguing over who will take it . . . . . .

  16. mighty tim supporting wee Oscar on

    Got to say I am confident that Celtic will go through tomorrow. I actually think that we will score a couple without reply. From what you seen last week or on you tube who in their team would get in the hoops. I don’t think that they can up their game and surprise us.










  17. Did my eyes deceive me last week ?



    I thought so when Lee Griffiths ran the ball into a corner to run down a clock with a full 6 minutes of normal time left.


    I don’t recall an opposition being under siege or desperately defending their penalty box.


    They were comfortable in possession of the ball.


    World beaters , no , decent and organised yes.


    Celtic will need to raise the standard of performance from last week or Saturday to go through.


    I hope I’m wrong but I don’t share the confidence shown on today’s blog. HH

  18. DL put in his place re: the huns, I know most on here don’t listen to Clyde or kid on they don’t but the put down was funny;)

  19. Mighty Tim


    Their number 15, wee guy with a beard who


    collapsed when we breathed on him.

  20. Hunderbirds are Gone on

    Burgas hoops






    Loving the positive posts. Does your “positivity programme” cope well with Monday mornings too?


    If yes, where can I buy? :-)

  21. bournesouprecipe on







    I was, as surprised as the rest of the support when Celtic were ‘under orders’ to run down the clock at 1-0 at CP last Wednesday






    My concern’s with a week of ‘the Blog’ comments are clearly from those that weren’t within miles of Celtic Park, and subscibe to the view we played a ‘wee diddy team’






    Celtic will be doing well to get on the plane home unscathed ( all things considered ) let alone on the plane, and still in the Champions league.






    EveryTrickInTheBookWillBeUsed csc

  22. This pitch business is a bit of a mystery not unlike to-morrows opponents. If Spain which is crippled with austerity and huge unemployment can maintain proper football pitches despite soaring summer temperatures makes you wonder why a place like Baku which is in an oil and gas rich country cannot do the same despite knowing the Qarabag football club has to fulfill European fixtures is bizarre.



    Celtic have started the season on a winning streak and they can maintain it to-morrow night. Ronny had a good away record in last season’s Europa and scored plenty of goals and now he has a settled team with plenty of pace which I believe will score. I presume the match will be played at night and the temperatures will have cooled. Congrats on the new layout but I could do with larger typeface in the comments section, any ideas ?

  23. Congratulaions to Sanna & dj dizzy Roy Croppie’s kids on their exam scores.


    I’m sitting here thinking and scratching my napper ….who do they take brains affy??


    Proud to say my boy passed all his highers …and advanced highers…….it was 14 year


    ago mind,but still vewwwy pwwwoud :O)

  24. Pheersy 5.53



    I think that we are vastly underestimating the fervour that is building up within The Rangers support.



    I spoke to a Rangers diehard today.


    He runs a RSC.


    He told me about the exact same incident today and said that even at the height of the Laudrup and Gascoigne era ,he had never witnessed the crowd respond in such a way.


    His exact words were ” Rangers are back.”



    Paul67 said to me on Saturday that Rangers would never win an SPFL championship in my lifetime .( I’m glad he’s not my GP)



    I can’t see Celtic doing 10 in a row.



    We as a club are riddled with complacency and a lack of ambition.



    They have been starved and are hungrier than ever before.




  25. Not to take anything away from the kids who done well and had great results, congratulations on all your levels, but as I watched the news there the maths test pass mark was 45 correct out of 130? Well in my day that would have made me the school Dux, that’s not a test, that’s a shoe in, and as I’m watching them taking the test, one guy had a calculator on his desk, cmooooon gimmi a break, it’s not right a third of them right and your in Uni.? No wonder so many drop out, but as I said congratulations to all who passed, and all the very best of luck.

  26. Tony Donnelly.



    Try sitting the higher maths test papers.



    The pass mark was so low because the actual questions were so very difficult.



  27. TD67



    Calculators are standard requirements in Maths exams. Questions are set based on access to one during the exam.



    With Calculus, the key element is knowing how to resolve the equation properly, not knowing what buttons to press.



    In my/our day it was slide rules in the exam room.



    Only O Level Maths CSC

  28. TT 6-49PM..I understand where you are coming from,however unless they find 50-60 million down the back of the sofa,I can not see how they can survive the season never mind compete with us in the next 2-3 years..Their current team is a squad of young boys and frees,the 3 “star” signings played for a team relegated to the 3rd tier of english football and the trio played on average 1/3 of the games…there is a huge gap in class between us and them…