Celtic beat FK Sarajevo 2-1 on Wednesday night as they progressed through to the next round of Champions League qualifiers.
FK Sarajevo scored in the opening minutes, but it was ruled offside. Celtic then scored a goal that stood from Ryan Christie, who found the ball at his feet and dispatched the ball perfectly into the top corner.
The visitors were certainly lucky to end the opening half with all 11 men after two shocking challenges towards the end of the first-half. Celtic then continued their dominance, but were unable to grab a second before halftime.
Celtic conceded after a sloppy giveaway from Boli Bolingoli that was well worked by the visitors and finished clinically by Benjamin Tatar past Scott Bain, who had no chance
Celtic restored the advantage with a strike from beyond the box from Callum Mcgregor in the 76th minute. Two minutes later, Leigh Griffiths was subbed in to make his first competitive appearance since December 5, 2018.
After beating FK Sarajevo by a score of 2-1 Wednesday night and 5-2 on aggregate, Celtic will now prepare for the second round of UEFA Champions League Qualification, where they await Estonian champions Nomme Kalju. The first leg will be home on July 24 with the second leg away on July 30.
Here are four findings from their victory against Sarajevo…
Celtic didn’t play nearly as good as they should be playing in a couple of months time, but the most important thing is to continue to progress past each stage and secure Champions League Qualification.
Ryan Christie is already off to the races, but the defence is certainly the biggest worry with a makeshift right back at the moment.
Quality of Defence
The defensive worries are still there. They still are without a right-back after Jeremy Toiljan’s disappointing loan and Mikael Lustig’s emotional goodbye to the club. Today, Kristoffer Ajer played right-back both legs and did alright without being tested with much quality.
The further Celtic progress, the more difficult it will get for the makeshift right back. I fully expect a right back to be signed this window or the transfer window will be one wasted
For the rest of the defense, I fully expect Tierney (assuming he’s still with the club for the remainder of the season) Ajer, and Simunovic to be the first choice in their positions for the rest of the season.
Two new bhoys involved today, Boli Bolingoli and Lewis Morgan (starting to find his footing after signing in January of 2018). I thought both played well today.
Bolingoli has a bad giveaway to hand FK Sarajevo their goal, but he was very involved going forward and was unlucky not to have scored. He certainly has no problems getting forward.
Lewis Morgan seems to be taking his first real chance for the Hoops. He played well today in the midfield and will likely see more playing time with Celtic this season.
Return of Griffiths
Odsonne Edouard was not pushed last season. When it got to the big games, he was the man for the job. Leigh Griffiths won’t be alright with being the second choice striker.
Griffiths had a 10 minute run out for his competitive debut of 2019. His return can only make Celtic a stronger attacking force.
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