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Scottish Teams in Europe 2015-16


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By Alasdair Lamont BBC Scotland at Celtic Park

 

A late Jo Inge Berget strike means Celtic's Champions League play-off with Malmo is on a knife edge ahead of next week's second leg.

 

A double from Leigh Griffiths and one from Nir Bitton looked like giving Celtic a foothold in the group stage.

 

Berget - brought to Celtic by Deila on loan last summer - had already struck one away goal to make it 2-1.

 

But his second, with virtually the last kick of the ball deep in stoppage time, gave the Swedes a huge boost.

 

Celtic will probably have to avoid defeat in Sweden if they are to return to European football's elite competition.

 

A year ago they had slumped out of the Champions League, bizarrely not once but twice.

 

Given a reprieve after defeat by Legia Warsaw, who fielded an ineligible player, under their new manager they could not find a way past Maribor.

 

Twelve months on they look a different beast altogether, more in tune with Deila's desires and demands.

 

Certainly they began the match with an intensity that Malmo found impossible to live with, hounding their opponents and driven on by a raucous support.

 

But the roof around Celtic Park was almost lifted off by the roar that greeted Griffiths's opening goal.

 

Stuart Armstrong left Malmo defenders in his wake as he drove in from the left to lay the ball off for Johansen.

 

The Norwegian's first-time ball picked out the run of Griffiths perfectly and the striker coolly side-footed past the exposed Johan Wiland.

 

It was the first time Griffiths had been preferred in attack to Nadir Ciftci during this Champions League qualification quest and it already looked like the right call by Deila.

 

The furious tempo continued and when Johansen swung in a pinpoint corner for Bitton to head in from close range, Celtic looked as though they might kill off the tie in the first half.

 

They might have done so as Johansen fired straight at the keeper, Griffiths found the side-net and Armstrong arrowed a shot a foot or so away from the top corner.

 

But scattered among those efforts, occasional lapses in concentration crept in, with Craig Gordon required to make an excellent one-handed stop to deny Vladimir Rodic.

 

Celtic failed to heed the warning though, and Berget punished a stray Scott Brown header by thundering a shot past Gordon.

 

It was a cameo worthy of a corny movie script, as the winger had been just as peripheral to most of the evening's action as he had during his six months as a Celtic player.

 

Just as Berget and Malmo grew in confidence, they were sucker-punched by a second from Griffiths.

 

Anton Tinnerholm failed to deal with a deep cross, knocking it into the air, allowing the stronger and more forceful Griffiths to climb above him to loop a header over Wiland and in off the far post.

 

That was not the end to the drama, though, as Berget pounced on a loose ball six yards out to hammer high into the net and set up a tense evening in Malmo on Tuesday.

 

http://www.bbc.com/sport/0/football/33954117

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They are shipping goals like no tomorrow, dik van dyke might just be working his ticket.

 

The thought of playing in front of a half empty stadium every week again doesn't bear thinking about.

 

Southampton in the EPL is a far better alternative. Delia will be off soon too.

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They are shipping goals like no tomorrow, dik van dyke might just be working his ticket.

 

The thought of playing in front of a half empty stadium every week again doesn't bear thinking about.

 

Southampton in the EPL is a far better alternative. Delia will be off soon too.

 

 

They going to bring back the yellow toothed thunder, do you think?

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They going to bring back the yellow toothed thunder, do you think?

 

His Bolton side currently sit bottom of the Championship on GD...they haven't even scored yet.

 

So yes, he could be back up here quicker than you can say lurgan bigot.

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If Celtic get put out that damages Scotland's co-efficient and makes it that much harder for us to qualify when we eventually get back into contention.

 

I reckon the co-efficient's already screwed and that it's not going to start improving again to any great degree until we're back in Europe ourselves again and picking up wins. Celtic getting papped out in Malmo next week won't make much difference.

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If Celtic get put out that damages Scotland's co-efficient and makes it that much harder for us to qualify when we eventually get back into contention. We should be lambasting them for letting Scotland down not rejoicing because they get beat.

 

And if they DO qualify then they will be another 20 million quid ahead of us. If they don't, they will only have a couple million from the EL and will be facing massive amounts of empty seats this season.

 

I will accept that over them helping the country co-efficient very slightly.

 

I believe that it is in Rangers bets interests if they do NOT qualify - so I will be hoping that Malmo put them out.

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And we moan about the poor standard of Scottish football which will only get worse as they get worse....if we are starved of competition we also get sucked further into the morass. Their embarrassing efforts only help us if we can get out of this league into one where their is stronger competition.. and there is nowhere but Scotland for us to go.

Sorry if we are a one horse race we will never do anything in Europe.

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