CELTIC 2 RB LEIPZIG 1
CELTIC stood up to be counted tonight against a very good German side and were not found wanting in any area of the park in what was an outstanding performance from the Scottish Champions.
It looked like it was going to be another nearly night for Celtic when Auguistin grabbed an equaliser with 12 minutes remaining but this Celtic side showed their character by picking themselves up, dusting themselves down and going up the park and scoring a sensational winner.
The visitors started brightly and their high pressing, high intensity game had Celtic pinned back in their own half. It looked like it was going to be a long night but when Celtic did get up the park they did so in spectacular fashion. As is often the case the man that made the difference was James Forrest and his direct running had the Germans in a panic. His dangerous cross missed its intended target Scotty Sinclair narrowly but that didn’t matter one jot to the 58,000 Celtic supporters inside the best football stadium in European football.
Kieran Tierney picked up the play, took a touch to steady himself and fairly blasted the ball into the Leipzig net.
The goal settled Celtic down and for the rest of the opening period there was only one side in it. Brendan Rodgers would have hoped that his side’s dominance would have resulted in a decisive second strike and his players certainly had their chances.
Tom Rogic had a great opportunity on 19 minutes when the ball fell to him at the edge of the box. You couldn’t have wished for such a chance to fall to anyone else but this time the Australian blasted the ball high into the stand.
Celtic’s dominance continued and on 30 minutes a brilliant solo run from record signing Odsonne Edouard almost doubled the lead. The French striker showed power and skill to go past 5 challenges and his cut back from the bye-line just failed to reach Scotty Sinclair for a tap in.
A minute later Ryan Christie had an opportunity similar to Rogic’s with the same end result.
Filip Benkovic picked up a yellow card shortly after that for a deliberate hand ball and he could have no complaints.
Then Leipzig claimed a penalty but the referee waved play on. If anything it was a foul on Callum McGregor. Then a fine cross Tierney found Edouard in space at the back post. He controlled the ball but instead of squaring it to Forrest for a tap in decided to side foot it towards goal but the angle was tight and the keeper saved easily enough.
The half time whistle was greeted with huge applause from the noisy Celtic support, delighted with their team’s performance against high quality opposition.
The Germans had a heart to heart in the dressing room and came out in a more positive fashion at the start of the second half. But it was Scotty Sinclair who had the best opportunity when Edouard put him through on goal. He delayed and delayed and the chance was gone.
In 52 minutes Craig Gordon made his first save of the match – the big keeper would earn his wages for the rest of the game. With the visitors pressing Celtic had less in the way of attacking opportunities but after good play by Rogic, Edouard got a shot away but the keeper saved well. You got the impression that he was not going to be denied all night though and so it turned out.
Kieran Tierney picked up a yellow card for a mistimed challenge but he was on the receiving end of a much more cynical challenge by Sabitzer on 63 minutes and was lucky to escape without injury, The yellow card shown was lenient to say the least as there was zero intention to play the ball and 100% intent to kick an opponent.
Incredibly the same player’s petulance a few minutes later resulted in a warning rather than a second yellow.
Craig Gordon pulled off a decent save from a Leipzig corner as the pressure mounted but Celtic were always on the look-out for a second goal. That nearly came om 72 minutes when Benkovic rose to head a Callum McGregor corner into the net unchallenged by a Leipzig player. Unfortunately though for the big Croatian, Mikael Lustig had the same thing on his mind and the two Celts got in each others way.
If that was a real let off for Leipzig their keeper produced the save of the minute moments later when Rogic send Edouard away and with half of Paradise celebrating the goal, the keeper got a touch to direct the ball past the post.
A few minutes later disaster struck -for about ten seconds anyway. A decent cross into the box was met by Augustin and he headed by Gordon to sent the 2500 visiting supporters into ecstasy. Their joy was to be short lived.
Celtic kicked off, Sinclair got the ball to the outstanding Christie and he rolled the ball in front of Edouard to put Celtic back in front.
Odsonne Edouard scores a HUGE goal on his 50th Celtic appearance! 👑
⏱ Just 64 seconds after Leipzig drew level!
Scenes in Glasgow! 💚 pic.twitter.com/wXOeoNzr9u
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) November 8, 2018
The place nearly exploded with the joy from the Celtic support.
But there was still 12 minutes to go and the Germans were in no mood to accept defeat. Mulumbu who had replaced James Forrest had an awful ten minutes, failing to get up to speed in the high intensity of the game, and twice they got in to see the whites in Craig Gordon’s eyes. The bar was rattled and the other shot went high and wide.
In the closing seconds Tom Rogic almost got the ball past the last Leipzig defender to give Edouard his second tap in of the night but the block, frustratingly, meant that the win was only by the one goal.
Celtic have six points and are level on points with the Germans who top the head to head. But they go to Austria next to play Salzburg who won in Norway while Celtic travel to play Rosenborg.
It could yet be advantage Celtic.
In the other match this evening apparently The Rangers lost in Moscow – memo to MSM, Celtic have SIX points and they have got FIVE, so please spare us the crap about their brilliant European form.
Man of the Match was given to Kieran Tierney but there were so many contenders in the Hoops tonight. McGregor, Christie, Boyata and Benkovic were all excellent but perhaps Odsonne Edouard shades it. He is our Man of the Match.