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  • Bhoys beaten by Leipzig in Germany

    Bhoys beaten by Leipzig in Germany

    By: Laith Al Naeme in Leipzig on 25 Oct, 2018 20:09

  • UEFA Europa League
    Matchday Three
    Red Bull Arena
    Thursday, October 25, 2018

    (Cunha 31, Bruma 35)


    A CLINICAL showing from RB Leipzig dimmed Celtic’s hopes of European football after Christmas as the Bundesliga outfit ran out 2-0 winners tonight (Thursday) in Germany. 

    Kieran Tierney captained the Hoops for the second time in the competition as Brendan Rodgers made five changes to the side that dispatched Hibernian last Saturday. 

    Scott Brown and Tom Rogic were ruled out through injury which meant Eboue Kouassi and Ryan Christie came in to the XI. Lewis Morgan also started at the expense of the suspended James Forrest and Cristian Gamboa and Jozo Simunovic replaced Mikael Lustig and Filip Benkovic who dropped to the bench.

    Backed by their vocal support, it was Leipzig who carved out the first chance of the match. After winning two corners in quick succession, Dedryck Boyata cleared away Dayot Upamecano’s dangerous header.

    Aiming to stun the home crowd, the Hoops carved out their first opening in the eighth minute. Lewis Morgan raced down the line before feeding in Odsonne Edouard and although taking a clever touch in the box, the Frenchman struck just wide of the post. 

    The Hoops then enjoyed a decent spell of possession ten minutes later, however, Edouard struggled to get a shot away when called upon. 

    Matheus Cunha’s power and movement began to cause problems for the away defence and, in the 26th minute, he came close to scoring following an inviting cushioned assist from Bruma but the Brazilian fired over from close-range. 

    Six minutes later, Leipzig’s patience paid off. Cunha was again picked out in the area by Marcel Sabitzer and this time the striker made no mistake as he smashed in the opener. 

    The goal injected more speed and tenacity to their performance and within minutes the home team doubled their lead. 

    Marcelo Saracchi aimed for Jean-Kevin Augustin in the box with a powerful cut-back, however, the ball broke to Bruma who tucked away the second goal of the night.

    Celtic were almost undone by another cross in the 42nd minute but Craig Gordon did well to come off his line and produce a solid save to deny Kevin Kampl. 

    The Hoops made one half-time substitution as Lustig came on in replace of Gamboa. And it was the visiting defence who were tested early after the restart. 

    Leipzig strung together a series of passes and Kampl, once again, got on the end of the attack. The Slovenian couldn’t keep his effort on target, though. 

    A rapid breakaway in the 54th minute culminated in Konrad Laimer hitting the ball wide. The midfielder darted forward through the middle of the park with pace but wasn’t able to supply the finish. 

    The Bundesliga side could have clinched their third of the night ten minutes later. Boyata lost possession in the box following a bobble on the pitch and it was Augustin who attempted to punish the Belgian. His long-range shot came crashing off the post, though.

    Leipzig’s two-goal advantage allowed the hosts to take their foot off the gas, while Celtic brought on Scott Sinclair for Lewis Morgan as they sought a way back into the game. Simunovic was forced off after landing awkwardly meaning Jack Hendry became Brendan Rodgers’ third and final change. 

    The Bhoys had a great chance to grab one back in the 85th minute when Olivier Ntcham ran through on goal before unleashing a shot in opposition territory. However, Yvon Mvogo was alert to pull off a strong reaction stop and prevent any way back in the game for the Hoops. 

    The result sees Celtic remain in third spot midway through their Europa League group stage campaign.

    CELTIC: Gordon, Gamboa (Lustig 46), Simunovic (Hendry 75), Boyata, Tierney; Kouassi, McGregor, Ntcham, Christie, Morgan (Sinclair 71); Edouard
    Not Used: Bain, Izaguirre, Hayes, Benkovic

    RB LEIPZIG: Mvogo; Upamecano, Orban, Klostermann, Saracchi; Kampl (Majetschak 84), Laimer, Sabitzer (Ilsanker 61); Bruma, Cunha, Augustin (Poulsen 90)
    Not Used: Muller, Werner, Mukiele, Halstenberg

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