CHAMPIONS LEAGUE GROUP B MATCHDAY 4; TUESDAY 31ST OCTOBER 7:45PM CELTIC 1 (McGREGOR 74’) BAYERN MUNICH 2 (COMAN 22’, MARTINEZ 77’)
Celtic turned in a highly creditable performance against Bayern Munich at Celtic Park tonight; but the same old defensive issues came back to haunt us in the Champions League once more and we are now mathematically out of the competition.
The team selected by Brendan Rodgers was as expected, with Nir Bitton partnering Dedryck Boyata at the back, and Moussa Dembele the loan striker. Kieran Tierney played more of a wingback role that left-back.
Celtic started the game very well, and Stuart Armstrong was guilty of missing an absolute sitter in the first ten minutes.
A superb James Forrest cross put Stu in acres of space at the back post...but he let the ball go under his foot and the chance was gone.
Forrest, Dembele and Tierney were causing Bayern all sorts of problems, and Dembele came close with an effort he scuffed by the post.
The inevitable dreadful goal to concede arrived in the 22nd, as Boyata misjudged a long ball, Gordon ran out of his goal and Coman coolly took the ball past him and scored into the empty net as Gordon claimed handball.
Seriously, even by Celtic in Europe’s standards it was a joke of a goal to give away. Judge for yourself below.
Craig Gordon gifting Bayern Munich the lead ♂️ pic.twitter.com/zQ1qqb0Gq7— Weekend Football (@weekendfootball) October 31, 2017
The equaliser almost arrived when a Forrest cross found Dembele but Alaba’s last ditch clearance saved the day for Bayern.
Into the second-half, and Forrest’s great form continued, his pass setting up Armstrong, but Ulreich made the save.
Gordon then denied James Rodriguez with a good save using his feet, before Celtic’s deserved equaliser arrived in the 72nd minute.
It involved yet more great play by Forrest, who created space and found McGregor, who finished in style through Ulreich’s leg. Cue bedlam at Celtic Park.
GOAL! 1-1 McGregor pic.twitter.com/tP8NqxON7Q— CelticGoals ☘ (@CelticGoals) October 31, 2017
Sadly the euphoria lasted only two minutes regained the lead. Coman was given far too much space on the right wing and Martinez out jumped Nir Bitton - who isn’t a natural defender, of course - to put Bayern 2-1 ahead. Another very preventable goal.
Javi Martinez restored the lead for #FCBayern with a towering header, only 3 minutes after #CelticFC had equalized. 2-1 now. #CELFCB #UCL pic.twitter.com/NdRniYwpC4— Jason Foster (@JogaBonitoUSA) October 31, 2017
Despite getting into some promising positions Celtic were unable to create anymore chances and Bayern saw the game out for a 2-1 win.
Firstly let’s deal with the good parts of the night: Celtic in general performed very well, with Kieran Tierney, Moussa Dembele and especially James Forrest all having fine games, tonight was undoubtedly Forrest’s best game for Celtic.
Now the bad parts: as usual in the Champions League we gave away some cheap goals, our folly of not buying another centre-half came back to haunt us again and Craig Gordon made yet another high profile error.
All in all a mixed bag, as an at times great Celtic performance was undermined by individual errors. Sounds familiar.