Wednesday July 26th: Champions League Qualifier Third Round First Leg; Celtic 0 Rosenborg 0
Celtic laboured to a goalless draw against Rosenborg in a match we could have easily lost, to leave our Champions League qualification on a KNIFE-EDGE.
With Moussa Dembele out injured until September and Leigh Griffiths injured, Brendan Rodgers played Tom Rogic as the furthest player forward, supported by Forrest and Sinclair. There were also changes at the back as well, with Kristoffer Ajer making his competitive debut in a partnership with Jozo Simunovic.
Celtic started the game relatively brightly, with a great pass from Ntcham setting up Armstrong but he couldn’t get his shot away. The game then fell into a pattern, with Rosenborg keeping men behind the ball and Celtic, playing without a recognised striker failing to break them down.
Craig Gordon had to make a smart save from a cross-shot before a Tierney ball found James Forrest but his header was easily saved by Hansen.
Half-time came and went without any personnel changes, but tactically Rogic moved to his more familar midfield position with Sinclair further forward.
Rosenborg then had their best spell of the game, with Gordon saving a close range before de Lanlay missed an absolute sitter, scooping the ball over the bar when played in when it seemed easier to score. A minute later, Gordon was forced into another save from Bendtner as Celtic Park grew restless.
Celtic finally made a change as Jonny Hayes replaced Olivier Ntcham, and we created our best chance of the game shortly after, as a Forrest shot went inches wide of the post.
Rosenborg then missed another great chance as Bendtner miskicked at the back post, before a rare Celtic attack ended up with an Armstrong shot saved.
Unsurprisingly the final chance of the game fell to Norwegian side, as Gordon had to save with his legs a Vilhjalmssona shot in injury time.
So 0-0 at full time, and Brendan Rodgers will be relieved that Celtic didn’t lose that game, but with Dembele out and Griffiths a doubt for next week and Brown limping around the pitch at the end of the game, things won’t get any easier next week.
Performance wise, Ajer did well enough in his debut and Gordon was excellent but none of the forward thinking players impressed on the night, and the likes of Scott Brown and Olivier Ntcham didn’t shine either. It’s all set up for a very nervy night in Trondheim next Wednesday.