Wednesday August 2nd: Champions League Qualifier Third Round Second Leg; Rosenborg 0 Celtic 1 (Forrest 69’) (Celtic Win 1-0 on Aggregate)
Celtic are through to the Champions League play-off after a deserved victory in Trondheim over a stubborn Rosenborg side. The win not only continued our Champions League adventure but guaranteed European football until December.
As expected James Forrest lead the line with Callum McGregor and Jonny Hayes also starting. Erik Sviatchenko came back in for the injured Kristoffer Ajer whilst Leigh Griffiths made his long awaited return on the bench alongside Tom Rogic and Olivier Ntcham.
With so much at stake the first half was predictably cagey, with Rosenborg content to let Celtic keep the ball and keep men in their own half. The first major incident of the first half was Erik Sviatchenko coming off injured with a knee injury, with perhaps surprisingly Nir Bitton replacing him in defence. The game’s first real chance fell to James Forrest, who after receiving a cut-back from Kieran Tierney had his rising effort tipped over the bar by Hansen.
The second half began with Rosenborg’s best spell of the game, as De Lanay shot just wide of the post. Brendan Rodgers wasn’t happy and made his first change, with Griffiths replacing Hayes. Rosenborg again came close to taking the lead as Jensen shot into the side netting.
Celtic gradually began to take control of the game, and after Sinclair had failed to control a Griffiths ball in front of goal, took the lead in the 69th minute, with Forrest taking a pass from Sinclair and thrashing a shot into the net off the bar from an acute angle.
Celtic went for the kill now, and in the last ten minutes Forrest really should have scored his second but Hansen denied him in a one on one situation. He then parried a Griffiths shot after a good pass from Rogic.
The final whistle brought scenes of relief and celebration, as Celtic has overcome a very difficult opponent to keep our Champions League dream alive. Kudos in particular to the at times much maligned James Forrest for his great goal and Nir Bitton who did well playing in an unfamiliar position. All eyes now turn to Friday morning’s play-off round draw.