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  • Young Celts on song to sink Anderlecht in UEFA Youth League

    Young Celts on song to sink Anderlecht in UEFA Youth League

    By: Tony Connelly on 05 Dec, 2017 18:58

  • UEFA Youth League
    The YOUR Radio 103FM Stadium, Dumbarton
    Tuesday, December 5, 2017

    CELTIC…3
    (Aitchison 22, McInroy 26, Johnston 56)

    ANDERLECHT…1
    (Corryn 70)

    TOMMY McIntyre’s young Celts closed out their UEFA Youth League campaign with a dominant win over Anderlecht. The visitors tasted defeat at the hands of Celtic for the second time in the tournament as the young Hoops cruised to a 3-1 win. 

    First-half goals from Jack Aitchison and Kerr McInroy gave Celtic a comfortable lead before Mikey Johnston killed off the game with a third goal in the second period. Anderlecht managed to grab a goal back but two second-half red cards reduced the visitors to nine men and Celtic were comfortable winners. 

    Johnston returned to action after missing out on the previous match in the tournament against Paris Saint-Germain due to injury. The 18-year-old winger started out on the right, with and was accompanied on the opposite flank by Ewan Henderson. Captain Regan Hendry started in front of Mark Hill and Kerr McInroy in the centre of midfield, with Jack Aitchison leading the attack up front. 

    Anderlecht created a couple of half-chances in the opening stages of the game, with Alexis Saelemaekers and Yuanis Terndieu Mokou delivering some dangerous balls into the Celtic box. 

    The Celts quickly found their rhythm, though, and began to attack the visitors. Calvin Miller was on fine form and caused Anderlecht problems down the left with his pace and willingness to run at the opposition defence. 

    He was the creator of Celtic’s first real chance when he collected the ball deep inside his own half and tore down the wing before delivering a great ball into the box. Aitchison was able to get on the end of the cross but he put his effort just wide of the post. 

    Celtic enjoyed the bulk of possession in the first half and used it to great effect as they continued to look for an opening, with Miller delivering more crosses into the box and Hendry causing problems for the Anderlecht defence as he twisted and turned inside their box in search of space to get a shot off. 

    The breakthrough came midway through the half when Johnston won a corner. Henderson got on the end of the low ball into the box and controlled it well before having a shot at goal. His attempt was blocked but Aitchison was quick to react and nicked in to collect the rebound before firing home to put Celtic ahead. 

    Johnston was more involved as the half went on and was able to get beyond the opposition defence. He came close with a couple of efforts, including one which rifled across the face of goal from a tight angle. 

    The Hoops doubled their lead four minutes after the first goal and Aitchison was again involved. The striker did well to hold the ball up on the edge of the Anderlecht penalty area and laid off Kerr McInroy who placed the ball in the back of the net with a cool finish. 

    As the half progressed Celtic tightened their hold on the game and continued to attack, with Johnston and Miller the architects of the Hoops attack. Signs of frustration began to emerge from the visitors, who began to pick up bookings with a series of fouls. 

    The Celts maintained their control of the game in the second-half and established an unassailable lead just over 10 minutes from the restart. Johnston passed two defenders out on the wing before cutting inside and slipping it past the keeper. 

    Anderlecht’s frustration continued to build as Celtic dominated possession and controlled the game with some slick and intelligent passing in the midfield. The Belgian side were reduced to 10 men after Saelemaekers received a straight red for a tackle on Miller. However, they managed to grab a goal with 20 minutes remaining when Milian Corryn fired low into the bottom corner from just inside the Celtic box. 

    Any chance of a way back into this game for the visitors was killed off when Reian Meddour received a second yellow for pulling Hendry’s jersey just outside the Anderlecht box. 

    Tommy McIntyre’s Development Squad close out this season’s UEFA Youth League campaign third in the group with six points, and the coach will take positives from the fact that his side showed they were capable of beating all of their opponents in the group. 

    CELTIC (4-2-3-1) Mullen; Duffy (Bell 75) Miller, Deas, Welsh; McInroy, Hill; E Henderson (Watson 80), Johnston, Hendry; Aitchison
    Not Used: Willison, Church, Savoury, Caffery, Diver

    ANDERLECHT (4-2-3-1) Vilege; Meddour, Kiwior (Stevens 62), Leoni, Mokou, Dawaele, Sambi; Corryn, Saelemaekers, Suray (Amuzu 45); Azevedo (Colassin 80)
    Not Used: Foulon

    Website Man of the Match: Jack Aitchison

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