With the absence of a recognised striker due to injury and suspension Brendan Rodger’s Celtic went into the third-round qualifying match against Rosenborg with a challenge on their hands.
Rodgers decided to play Tom Rogic as the centre forward being supported by Scott Sinclair and James Forrest on the wings. The other position which also had to be covered was centre back, due to Erik Sviatchenko having a niggling injury.
For the first twenty-minutes it was the invincible treble winners who were in complete control of the game, putting constant pressure on Rosenborg resulting in opportunities from corner kicks. James Forrest was very unlucky not to bag the opener on the twenty-minute mark with his shot being blocked.
Rosenborg did though always look a danger on the counter attack and instinctively went out the park after this piece of play and nearly scored themselves. After this opportunity was averted by Jozo Simunovic, the Norwegian champions started to grow into the game and take control.
Celtic started the second-half positively and started to get a hold of the game wining a corner shortly after the restart. Rosenborg seemed though to pick up where they left off, testing Gordon from a fabulous freekick.
The Hoops were let off on the hour mark when Yann-Erik de Lanlay missed a sitter from close range. Immediately after that a Celtic substitution was made with Hayes replacing Ntcham. This allowed Rogic to drop back into midfield with the big Aussie not having much joy as a striker.
However, James Forrest was exceptionally unlucky not to open the scoring in the seventy-first minute after some great footwork allowed him to have a shot on goal, with his effort going narrowly wide of the right-hand post. After this chance, it was frustration for the players as they struggled to break down Rosenborg.
The Celtic team at times tonight looked rather flat, but to give the Norwegian champions there due they were extremely well organised and smart about their play. Though the result maybe disappointing we need to remember that next week in Norway we should have Leigh Griffiths back and hopefully Erik Sviatchenko. Kristoffer Ajer did though play well under pressure tonight and looks a real talent.
The important thing tonight was that an away goal wasn’t conceded. Rosenborg will have to come at us next week which should hopefully open up more spaces. Champions League qualifiers are two-legged affairs, it is only half-time just now!