Glasgow Celtic entered the second leg of their Europa League round of 32 playoffs matchup against FC Copenhagen from favored position, after gaining an all-important away goal in 1-1 draw at Parken last week.
It all looked good for the Scottish side as they easily blew through Kilmarnock in between the fixtures and were well prepared and healthy for the Danish visit. But like the best laid plans sometimes do, it all fell apart as the visitors took their chances and scored on every single shot on goal they attempted and took a suprising 1-3 victory at Celtic Park.
The hosts had the better of the chances in the first half, but FCK’s keeper Karl-Johan Johnsson was unbeatable. It was already on the 51th minute the visitors got their crucial goal. An absolute horror show from the Celtic defense led to Michael Santos chipping in the goal and set the pace for the surprise. Celtic frantically chased the equalizer and came close a couple of times, but even out of position and balance, Karl-Johan Johnsson got the better of it.
Even Johnsson couldn’t save his team, when on 83rd minute Celtic was awarded a penalty after a VAR-confirmation. Celtic’s top goal scorer Odsonne Edouard didn’t miss from the spot and nullified the visitor’s edge with less than ten minutes on the clock. The joy at the stands died down fast though. Visitor’s Pep Biel was left unmarked at the edge of the box and the Spaniard took his time to beat Fraser Forster down low. The goal punched the air out of the home team and the fans alike, and Celtic was beat. Experienced striker Dame N’Doye then finished off their hosts by individual effort on the 88th minute.
Celtic is still hunting for their first knockout stage win in Europe since 2012 and can feel hard done by the result, if not the performance. The visitors used their chances while Celtic squandered them – and Neil Lennon’s side can now concentrate on taking their ninth consecutive Scottish Championship, while their arch-rivals Rangers continue their journey in Europe against German side Leverkusen. Next up for Celtic is Livingston on the road on 5th March, don’t forget Dafabet’s Celtic FC Prediction Challenge in order to win weekly free bets!