Champions League – Malmo FF 2-0 Celtic: Celtic’s Champions League dream crushed

Celtic’s Champions League hopes were ended for a second consecutive year as they fell to a 4-3 defeat to Malmo FF at Swedbank Stadion.

Ronny Deila’s side failed to cope with set-pieces in the first-leg and they conceded from a corner in each half on this occasion, losing by two goals on the night in a defeat which sends them into the Europa League.

The Scottish Champions found themselves behind after just 23 minutes whenMarkus Rosenberg scored his 20th European goal of his career as headed the hosts into the lead.

Celtic thought they had equalised from a set-piece of their own a couple of minutes before the half-time whistle when the ball was bundled over the line from a corner delivery. The referee bizarrely ruled out goal out however, claiming the home goalkeeper Johan Wiland had been fouled in the build-up.

The game was sealed just 10 minutes after the restart when Celtic made a mess of yet another corner with Dedryck Boyata getting the final touch on substitute FelipeCarvalho’s header.

Despite some late pressure from the visitors, Malmo held on for the victory in a match worth over £20 million.

 

Celtic's Virgil van Dijk looks dejected after conceding at Malmo
Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk looks dejected after conceding at Malmo – Reuters

KEY MOMENTS

5’ – WIDE! First attempt of the evening for Malmo as Berget fizzes a shot wide of the far post. What a start that would have been for the hosts.

13’ – CLOSE! Griffiths almost opens the scoring for Celtic as he runs onto a long ball from Janko but he can’t keep his half-volley below the crossbar. Great game so far.

23’ – GOAL – Malmo FF 1-0 Celtic! Rosenberg finds the net with a header! This man loves the big European occasion and he has struck once again after meeting the ball with a powerful header from the corner delivery.

36’ – CLOSE! Celtic fail to clear their lines and the ball falls to the dangerous Rosenberg who strikes at goal but Boyata gets a nick on the effort. Another Malmo corner…

43’ – GOAL RULED OUT! Armstrong wins a corner for Celtic, the ball is delivered into the penalty area, the goalkeeper comes for it but is beaten to it and the ball is bundled over the line. The referee bizarrely disallows the goal, however, much to the frustration of the Celtic players. There didn’t seem to be much in that.

55’ – GOAL – Malmo FF 2-0 Celtic! The hosts double their lead from the subsequent corner as substitute Carvalho heads in after Celtic, yet again, fail to deal with a set-piece. Boyata got the final touch.

75’ – SAVE! Celtic threaten from a set-piece of their own as Commons whips in from a free-kick and Mulgrew gets onto the end of it with a flick but the ball is straight into the arms of the goalkeeper.

 

Malmo FF's captain Markus Rosenberg celebrates after their Champions League play-off second leg soccer match against Celtic at Malmo New Stadium in Malmo, Sweden, August 25, 2015
Malmo FF’s captain Markus Rosenberg celebrates after their Champions League play-off second leg soccer match against Celtic at Malmo New Stadium in Malmo, Sweden, August 25, 2015 – Reuters

KEY STATS

Markus Rosenberg scored his 20th goal in his 63rd European match.

TALKING POINT

Another year without Champions League football for Celtic – How much will this defeat hurt the Glasgow giants? They missed out last year and – despite looking comfortable for the majority of the first-leg – they have to settle for Europa League football once again. The pressure is firmly on Ronny Deila’s shoulders now.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Markus Rosenberg (Malmo FF) – The veteran striker could have bagged a few on the night. He was a constant thorn in the Celtic defence and got his side off to the perfect start when he powerfully headed in from a corner.

PLAYER RATINGS

MALMO FF: Wiland 6, Tinnerholm 6, Árnason 6, Bengtsson 6, Yotún 7, Rodic 7,Lewicki 6, Adu 6, Berget, 7 Rosenberg 8, Djurdjic 7. Subs: Rakip 5, Mehmeti 5, Carvalho 6.

CELTIC: Gordon 7, Janko 6, Boyata 6, van Dijk 5, Mulgrew 6, Brown 5, Bitton 5, Forrest 7, Johansen 7, Armstrong 6; Griffiths 6. Subs: Ciftci 5, Commons 5, Mackay-Steven 5.