Whilst a 1-1 result in an away-leg of the Round of 32 in Copenhagen looks like a pretty good result on paper, truth be told, this tie could already be over if the visitors were able to take their chances.
Celtic should still feel confident about getting through to the Last 16 but they’ll be well aware of the threats that Copenhagen can cause them in the second leg.
Here are our four findings from Celtic’s first-leg draw in Copenhagen.
Not Clinical Enough
Celtic could, and perhaps should, have been 3-0 up inside the opening 15 minutes, but missed chances cost them. Those misses, along with several other instances of untidiness in the final third, especially one from Callum McGregor, prevented the visitors from taking more than one away goal back to Celtic Park.
Along with the misses of Odsonne Edouard and McGregor, James Forrest had a rough game, mainly due to his slow decision making, which cost Celtic in the final third on multiple occasions. The tie could already be pretty much decided, but instead, both sides still have plenty to play for in the second leg.
One of the biggest highlights of the game will be Forster’s big penalty save, but Christopher Julien was the best player for Celtic, once again standing tallest in a big game. The French defender was there to make some big challenges against an opposition that tested him and his defensive colleagues.
Along with the great contributions of Forster and Julien, Johnny Hayes did very well. After a very poor performance against Aberdeen last Sunday, Hayes did well enough in his defensive duties and also provided a tremendous ball for Edouard, who saw his sliding effort saved by the keeper’s leg.
Jeremy Frimpong and Kristoffer Ajer didn’t impress as much as the others, but they did a decent enough job, as did defensive substitutes Nir Bitton and Jozo Simunovic.
Celtic fell back into some of their old habits that were last seen in December. They weren’t able to finish other teams off when they were on top and at times, they looked absolutely brutal in the second half.
Up 1-0 with Copenhagen on the ropes, the Scottish champions didn’t show their real qualities in the second 45. The Bhoys will need to recover and be ready to go next Thursday with just one away goal in the bag.
All to Play for in the Second Leg
Whilst Celtic might leave Denmark disappointed that they didn’t effectively put the tie to bed, they are still in a very good position.
Celtic will like their chances of advancing on another European night under the Paradise lights.
Whilst the home team will be without the suspended Ryan Christie, they will hope to have the likes of Leigh Griffiths and Greg Taylor and back from injury.
There will not be any valid excuses if Celtic don’t advance to the Round of 16 as they clearly have enough to beat the Danish champions.