Joy turned to despair for Celtic as two late targets earned Bayer Leverkusen a 3-2 win in Germany and condemned the visitors to a group-stage exit within the Europa League.
With 10 minutes remaining, Celtic have been on the right track for a shocking shock victory thanks to a Josip Juranovic penalty and Jota’s stylish end both facet of half-time, till catastrophe struck to drop them into the Europa Conference League.
First Robert Andrich fired in his second of the night time, having earlier opened the scoring from a nook, to deliver them stage from Amine Adli’s lay-off earlier than a high-quality 20-yard volley from Moussa Diaby turned the sport on its head and introduced Celtic’s hopes of development crashing down, whereas sealing prime spot within the group for the hosts.
The Bhoys will nonetheless qualify for the Conference League knockout phases as they’re assured to end above backside facet Ferencvaros, however they may now host Betis in a fortnight realizing their Europa League marketing campaign is destined to end within the group phases no matter occurs.
Celtic’s Europa League dream ended by Leverkusen
The Germans signalled their intent within the tenth minute when Andrich headed over from a Florian Wirtz nook.
Celtic have been trying moderately comfy within the early phases, though Cameron Carter-Vickers had to make a significant clearance from inside his personal six-yard field when former Hoops right-back Jeremie Frimpong darted into the field and drilled a harmful low ball throughout the face of purpose within the twelfth minute.
- Celtic made one change to the facet that defeated St Johnstone in final weekend’s Premier Sports Cup semi-final, with Hampden purpose hero James Forrest coming in for his first begin in additional than three months in place of Liel Abada.
The visitors failed to heed the warning from Leverkusen’s earlier nook, and so they fell behind within the sixteenth minute when Andrich received in entrance of Stephen Welsh to head in one other Wirtz supply.
Celtic had a uncommon foray ahead within the thirty fifth minute which resulted in David Turnbull threading a by way of ball in behind for Kyogo Furuhashi however the offside flag was raised because the Japanese attacker burst into the field and fired a low angled shot simply behind the far submit.
Having been pegged again for lengthy intervals of the match, the visitors received themselves stage within the thirty ninth minute with a penalty awarded following a VAR overview after Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky clattered recklessly into Kyogo whereas making an attempt to defend a cross into the field from Jota.
Hradecky was booked and Juranovic produced an outrageously nonchalant end as he chipped a Panenka-style spot-kick in off the underside of the crossbar.
Juranovic was lucky to get away with a lapse within the forty fourth minute when he gave the ball away cheaply simply outdoors his space permitting Moussa Diaby to hearth a strong angled half-volley off the junction of submit and bar earlier than Wirtz despatched the rebound crashing towards the other submit.
Celtic had one other main let-off eight minutes after the break when Joe Hart made an excellent double save to deny Diaby after which Amine Adli.
Remarkably, Celtic took the lead within the 56th minute when Jota drilled in a medical low angled shot from simply contained in the field after being teed up by Kyogo following some sensible play by Forrest and Nir Bitton.
Hart made a pair of saves to deny Adli because the Scots began to imagine they is likely to be closing in on their first victory in Germany.
But Andrich dashed their hopes within the 82nd minute when he drilled a low shot by way of the legs of Hart from 12 yards out after being arrange by substitute Nadiem Amiri.
The hosts claimed victory within the 87th minute when Diaby volleyed residence after being picked out by a chipped cross from Wirtz.
Leverkusen late-show stuns Celtic – Match stats
- Bayer Leverkusen have by no means misplaced a house UEFA Europa League group stage match in 15 earlier video games (W12 D3) – essentially the most of any facet with out dropping within the competitors’s historical past.
- Celtic have scored 2+ targets in every of their final 4 away video games within the UEFA Europa League, nonetheless they’ve gone on to win only one of these matches (L3), beating Ferencvárosi TC 3-2 at first of the month.
- Celtic have conceded a minimum of as soon as in 26 of their 28 away UEFA Europa League video games, conceding in every of their final 11 such matches within the competitors, since a 1-0 win in Rosenborg again in November 2018.
- Florian Wirtz has been immediately concerned in ten targets in 13 UEFA Europa League appearances for Bayer Leverkusen (5 targets, 5 assists).
- Robert Andrich has scored three targets in his final three appearances for Bayer Leverkusen in all competitions, greater than he netted in his first 9 appearances for the membership this season (2).
- Celtic’s Josip Juranovic has had two makes an attempt on purpose on this season’s UEFA Europa League marketing campaign, each penalties which he transformed.
Celtic are at residence to Aberdeen within the Scottish Premiership on Sunday; kick-off at 3pm.