Saturday, January 19, 2019

Celtic win 1-0 in the first of two games against Elfsborg

Celtic and Elfsborg come out at the start of the game, 2-0 would have been better, but Celtic won the 1st game tonight and didn't lose a goal

Celtic looking to get to the group stages Europe's top competition take a slender 1-0 lead to Sweden next week in the 2nd leg of the game. It should have been more, but they didn't lose a goal

Kris Commons' goal

Picture: Tony Nicoletti/Media

Commons got on the end of a cross to head the ball brilliantly down into the ground and then high into the net past the keeper who had no chance, below you can see what it meant to him and the 40,153 people packed into the stadium

Kris Commons celebrates his second-half goal for Celtic

Chris Commons scores the only goal on 73 minutes. Picture:

Kris Commons scored with a header to give Celtic the edge in their Champions League third qualifying round tie.

With the hosts struggling to break down stubborn Elfsborg, the forward found the net on 76 minutes, nodding home a cross from Emilio Izaguirre.

James Forrest struck the crossbar with a first-half effort as Celtic were frustrated for long spells.

The well-organised visitors rarely threatened but also found the bar via a fantastic Fraser Forster save.

Celtic thoroughly deserved to win but will need to iron out some slack elements in their play ahead of next week's visit to Sweden, with Elfsborg unbeaten on their artificial home pitch since September 2011.

Neil Lennon's men almost made the perfect start as Anthony Stokes flashed a shot wide from a tight angle inside 12 seconds but showed signs of early season rust in the opening 45 minutes against a side midway through their domestic campaign.

Much of the pre-match talk concentrated on Mohamed Bangura, the Celtic striker on loan at Elfsborg, and whether or not he would play, here he is below (Left) tackling for the ball with Celtic captain Scott Brown

Scott Brown challenges Mo Bagura at Celtic Park

With no arrangement in place to prevent his selection, visiting manager boss Jorgen Lennartsson thrust the Sierra Leone player further into the limelight and his arrival on the pitch was marked with a loud chorus of boos.

The 24-year-old, who failed to score in 16 Celtic appearances, had an early low strike saved by Forster but faded from the match and was only really noticed again late in the second-half when a couple of theatrical tumbles enraged the home support.

Those fans were on their feet when Forrest connected with a long, looping cross from Commons but the winger's side-foot volley spun off the turf and cannoned off the crossbar.

Soon after, Elfsborg also struck the frame of the goal, with Forster doing brilliantly to get a touch on a fierce strike from Anders Svensson.

The 37-year-old Sweden international was a stand-out performer throughout, providing great cover for his back four.

Celtic defender Efe Ambrose headed over from a corner before a free-kick from Stokes was tipped over by Kevin Stuhr-Ellegaard on the stroke of half-time.

With new signing from Ajax Derk Boerrigter left out of the squad, Georgios Samaras was Celtic's main threat on the left and the galloping Greek had a shot saved right from the second-half whistle.

The Swedes were being pinned back more and more as Celtic injected more pace and aggression into their attacks and Elfsborg responded with a series of cynical challenges to disrupt play.

Another shot from Samaras was deflected wide, with the forward claiming it had struck an arm in a yellow shirt.

With striker Stokes dropping ever deeper in search of the ball and the crowd growing a little frustrated, Elfsborg looked a good bet to return home with a clean sheet.

But the crucial breakthrough came with 14 minutes remaining as Commons did well to steer his header in at the back post.

Samaras then had header blocked by a defender on the line as Celtic pressed briefly for another goal but there was to be storming finale, with Lennon's men content to protect their lead and Elfsborg afraid to abandon their defensive approach.

Celtic were missing several key players tonight and Manager of Celtic Neil Lennon will be thrilled to get a 1-0 win, no injuries, no suspensions. Next week Celtic travel to Sweden with a 1-0 lead to protect and several key players back fit and available, including new £3 Million pound signing Derk Boerrigter (right) who was watching from the main stand tonight

Celtic midfielder Derk Boerrigter

Irish Manager of Celtic Neil Lennon will be happy not to concead an away goal as they count as two goals if the game ends up a draw after the home and away games are played. Celtic score Away, the Swedish side need 3 goals, so good job tonight

Celtic manager Neil Lennon

Picture credits:

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I was a Football manager then I had to stop because of the pain so took up writing. I am average, but the sentiment is there. I want to make this a better world I want to laugh. I have a partner and 4 kids, 2 sons who are older teenagers, and 2 daughters under 4. Share the care x
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1 comments on Celtic win 1-0 in the first of two games against Elfsborg

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By Elma Sherry on December 16, 2014 at 02:08 am

Very well written!So clear !Desert Leather Watch dog

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