Celtic crash out of the Champions League as Malmo deservedly progress



Celtic crash out of the Champions League as Malmo deservedly progress.

Grim. Bottle merchants. Embarrassing. Abysmal. Second best. Rank rotten. Gutless. Woeful. Disgraceful. Gut wrenching. Chokers. Pitiful. These are just some of the words being used by Celtic fans after Tuesday night’s defeat to Malmo which saw the Scottish champions drop into the Europa League for the second season in a row under Ronny Deila.

So, the bottom line is that a win over Malmo is likely to be worth in excess of £21m to Celtic (9.94m in prize money + £5.79m market pool cash + £6m ticket sales = £21.73m).

Celtic captain Scott Brown has said that he was “ashamed” by his side’s performance in their 2-0 Champions League playoff second-leg loss to Malmo.

The Scottish champions took a 3-2 lead into the second leg in Sweden, but were undone by two goals from set pieces as they went on to lose 4-3 on aggregate.

“I’m ashamed of the performance,” Brown told BT Sport after the final whistle.

“We’ve got high expectations always at this club and we need to try and deal with it.

“We should be a lot better than that. Today, the performance wasn’t there.”

Having failed to make the Champions League group stages, Celtic will find out their Europa League opponents in Thursday’s draw.

Celtic boss Ronny Deila says his players were scared in their 2-0 defeat to Malmo which ended their hopes of Champions League football.

Goals from Marcus Rosenberg and William Carvalho ensured the Hoops lost 4-3 on aggregate but it was the nature of the display which disappointed the Celtic manager.

“We performed not even close to what we can,” he told BT Sport.

“We have played very well in many games this season but today we looked scared, uncomfortable on the ball and stressed. But that is my responsibility.

“We have to go through what happened and learn from this.

“We have to get better. We were close but when you have a performance like this you don’t deserve to get through. We have to find a mental toughness.

“If the performance had been fantastic and we’d lost we can deal with that but it’s even tougher to deal with the disappointment with a performance like that.”



Once again pulled off a number of superb saves to deny Malmo and kept Celtic in the game. However, he could have done much more at the two goals conceded. He is criticised at times for failing to properly command his box and come out to claim crosses etc – but the real blame for Celtic’s loss tonight lay with those in front of him.


Did well for his first start in the Champions League. A bit cagey early on but held his own and couldn’t really be faulted with the goals conceded thanks to the poor play from his more experienced defenders.

Needs to be given more game time domestically and in the Europa League this season with the injury prone Mikael Lustig still seen as first choice right back and contracted to the club until 2018.


He has been caught out of position domestically numerous times but has not been punished, but in Europe especially tonight he has been found out. He can handle the Scottish Premiership and while he is still young, I cannot see him making the grade in Europe.

In comparison Denayer was a real find and his departure over the summer was a major loss. Boyata isn’t fit to lace his boots.

van Dijk






Has he got something dodgy hanging over Deila’s head?

Yes he may have won Player of the Year last season, but this season is a shadow of his former self. He has gone AWOL in games both domestically and in Europe. He failed to hit the back of the net in the first leg against Malmo – which could have altered the whole tie entirely – when one on one with the keeper. But these things happen it is football after all.

But in the second leg on Tuesday night, he was nowhere to be seen and the only time when we actually noticed he was on the park was when he was booked in the 84th minute.

He looks disinterested like many of the other players tonight – is he longing for a move away from Celtic Park? Hamburg were linked with him previously and I certainly wouldn’t be bumping my gums if he does depart during this window along with van Dijk.


Looked like he was struggling at times during the first half and was hooked at half time. Was this tactical or was it down to injury? Either way he was far from the worst in the team and made way for Kris Commons who did about the same as Armstrong did in the first half.

If it was a tactical switch then I would have kept him on and ditched Johansen, but Deila has a phobia about substituting the Norwegian for games.


A tale of two Griffiths’ – he was starved of service and provided little threat up front apart from his first half strike just shy of the Malmo goal. But he really should have seen red for that idiotic and disgusting knee into the Malmo players nether regions. There was no need for Griffiths to do that – even if the player stood in his way – a referee on his game would have sent the striker off for an early bath and piled more misery onto Celtic.



The only player that Celtic really spent money on. Dundee United must be killing themselves laughing at getting £1.5 million for the striker. On his showings in Europe he is worth less than what Celtic paid for Scott Allan. It may be harsh on the guy with the lack of domestic games due to his ban, but at a club like Celtic it will be his performances and goals in Europe that will count – while the Premiership is an after thought.

Griffiths, domestically, can certainly hold his own for Celtic and Ciftci has proven he is a Premiership goalscorer – but he was a big pish in a little pond at United [no offence]but he is just a small fish at Celtic and needs to prove himself. Has he done it yet? No. Will he? He needs to be given the time to do so.

Bringing on Ciftci was the only decision that Deila got right on Tuesday night, it was far too late in my opinion as by the time he came on the game was dead and buried already. But the manager did see that Bitton was itching to get sent off and he was very lucky not to have done so after two crude challenges which could have easily seen him shown a second yellow for either offence.

Ciftci will now have to prove himself domestically as well as in the Europa League. The odds are stacked against him though.



Despite brief glimpses of his talent, Commons failed to inspire those around him even if it was a thankless and impossible task. Signing him on for another year may have been


Ronny Deila

John Collins


About Author


Andy Muirhead is the Editor of Scotzine and the Scottish Football fanzine FITBA. He is the Scottish Football columnist for The Morning Star and has written for a number of other publications including ESPN, Huffington Post UK, BT Life's a Pitch and has had his work featured in the Daily Record, The Scotsman and the Daily Mail.