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Celts bow out of Europe with brave display

Celtic and Man City shared the spoils on match day 6 of the Champions League, after Patrick Robert's early opener was quickly cancelled out by City's Kelechi Iheanacho's equaliser

UEFA Champions League
Etihad Stadium, Manchester
Tuesday 6th December


Manchester City - 1 (Iheanacho, 8)
Celtic - 1 (Roberts, 4)


Celtic bowed out of Europe on Tuesday night with an impressive display at the Etihad, which earned them a 1-1 draw with English Premier League title chasers Manchester City in the final game of Group C in the Champions League. Celtic performed with style and purpose throughout the game, and at times caused serious issues for the Manchester City back four. The game signalled the end of Celtic’s first European campaign under Brendan Rodgers, but also a bright future under the Irishman. There have been plenty of positives to be taken from Celtic’s European campaign, which began way back on the 12th July in Gibraltar where Celtic suffered an embarrassing 1-0 defeat to minnows Lincoln Red Imps. Since then, the level of progression which has taken place at Celtic has been clear for all to see and this was evident in the following two qualifiers where Celtic were able to see off stiff opposition in Astana and Israeli side Hapoel Be’er Sheva, aided by an exhilarating 5-2 victory at Celtic park, the first real sign that Brendan Rodgers was beginning to forge a team capable of playing aggressive, attacking and most importantly effective football on the European stage.

When Celtic suffered a 7-0 defeat in the opening game of their first Champions League Group Stage campaign in three years, it became evident that the Scottish champions would need to learn some harsh lessons, and time wasn’t exactly on the side of Brendan Rodgers’ men with their next European task...
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Moult (3', 35') Ainsworth (71') McGregor (48') Roberts (70') Armstrong (72') Rogic (90')


Celts stretch lead at the top to 11 points thanks to a resurgent second half in Motherwell


Saturday 3rd December 2016
Fir Park
Ladbrokes Premiership


Mark McGhee's Motherwell side will be left wondering where it all went wrong this afternoon as a whirlwind second half saw Celtic take all 3 points in what could yet turn out to be the game of the season. After taking a well deserved two goal lead into half time, it looked as though Brendan Rodgers was all set to taste defeat for the first time domestically as Celtic manager. However, whatever he said during the interval worked as his players scored an incredible four goals in the second half to show that they not only have the quality but the character to retain their unbeaten run for a while yet.

Following the league cup win last weekend and talk of an 'invincible' season, Celtic's players appeared to have let it go to their heads slightly in the first half. Their performance was flat and filled with slow build up which allowed Motherwell to get up the park and force mistakes from a side supposedly bang in form. The absence of Erik Sviatchenko was spoken about prior to the match and three minutes in, a gaping hole was carved through the exact spot where he would have been. Kolo Toure, returning to the starting XI after a six week absence, was caught napping as a lovely floated ball from Stephen McManus was played into the space behind him for...
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Celtic vs. Aberdeen

Betfred League Cup Final

Sunday 27th November

Kickoff: 15:00

BT Sports 1

On Sunday, Celtic have the opportunity to win their first domestic trophy of the 2016/17 season when they face Aberdeen in the final of the Betfred Cup (the League Cup to you and me).

Brendan's Rodgers will be eager to win his first piece of silverware at Celtic - at the first time of asking no less. While he may be hesitant to speak it about it openly, Rodgers will surely be hoping that a win on Sunday could be the beginning of a push for a historic treble.

Meanwhile, Derek McInnes, who won the trophy with Aberdeen back in the 2013/14 season, will be hoping that he can repeat that achievement come Sunday. That was Aberdeen's first trophy in 19 years, and McInnes will surely be eager to ensure that the wait for their next silverware isn't that long.

Celtic

The League Cup has historically been the one domestic competition that Celtic Has struggled in. Despite reaching thirty League Cup finals, they've only managed to win fifteen. However Brendan Rodger's will surely be confident that he can make sixteen on Sunday.

When Celtic last played Aberdeen in October, it was a fairly tight affair with only the one goal in it. Whilst I'm sure everyone would be happy with a win, regardless of the margin of victory, a slightly more comfortable result certainly wouldn't go amiss.

So what players can we expect to see come kickoff time on Sunday?

Well one player who will sadly be missing from Sunday's match is Scott Sinclair - who suffered a hamstring injury against Barcelona on Wednesday. While the manager has said that they'll continue to assess Sinclair, given the nature of his...
Celtic 0-2 Barcelona: No European football after Christmas, but Rodgers' men learn valuable lessons

They came, they saw, they conquered. Again. Barcelona killed off Celtic's latest European campaign in a match where Lionel Messi provided the goals, and his two pals - Suarez and Neymar - did nothing to dispel their pantomime villain image. It feels like we've been here before.

The weather and the atmosphere in Glasgow ticked all the boxes of the cliched Champions League night at Celtic Park, with a particularly special and dazzling display in the 67th minute lifting the decibel level at a time when the home side were already out of the game, and out of Europe.

The mutual love-in between the two sets of supporters also conformed to the norm of recent years. With Barcelona fans soaking up the atmosphere generated, and Celtic fans keen to make their thoughts on Barcelona's star man clear by applauding the Catalan's chant of 'Messi, Messi, Messi'.

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In The Heat Of Lisbon: Celtic supporters lit up the stands on the 67th minute in tribute to the clubs European Cup winning side of 1967

If so much seemed familiar off the pitch, there is something different happening on it. Celtic were well in the game until Lionel Messi struck the opener, and spurned a great chance to equalise before the Argentine converted a second half penalty to kill the game.

There have been lessons learned from this game, and the campaign as a whole that will make Celtic stronger under Brendan Rodgers next season. Celtic have proven they can press and harry more illustrious opponents and play with a pace and energy to cause more talented teams real problems. This match represented a huge improvement from the opening round against Barcelona, and this campaign has represented an improvement on the two that came before it.

If the pressing...
Celtic's Champions League Challenge
The Scottish champions once again face off against the might of Barcelona

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The bright lights of Paradise will beam down upon us tonight, is a Celtic victory in sight?

This season's opening group game, in the Champions League, saw Celtic visit one of the greatest arenas in world football, Camp Nou. Unfortunately, Barcelona were in great form that night and outclassed the Hoops with a 7-0 thrashing. Even when you consider that the Celtic players showed Barcelona too much respect that night, there is a clear gulf in quality between the two sides, with Barcelona being several levels above.

Given the state of affairs Celtic found themselves in just one year ago, where our European performances often featured calamitous defensive errors and a lack of ability to win a Europa League group match, just qualifying for the Champions League group stages is a huge step forward.

Brendan Rodgers inherited a squad of players who, despite being champions, lacked confidence. The departing Ronny Deila admitted that the job was too big for him and it was noticeable in our performances. When Rodgers was appointed, he identified areas of the team that needed strengthening and his acquisitions thus far have dramatically transformed our fortunes. He did what his recent predecessors couldn't, he qualified for the Champions League group stages on his first attempt as Celtic manager.

Huge credit is due to the Irishman for that early achievement and the experience gained this season can be taken forward for future attempts at Champions League qualification. There's no secret that the exposure and financial advantages of being in this competition will enhance Celtic's ability to attract good quality footballers to the club, as...