CELTIC manager Brendan Rodgers made many changes from the side which won against Linz on Wednesday evening bringing in five first team regulars into hi starting eleven for the second match of his side’s pre-season tour in Austria.
Celtic’s old foes Rapid Vienna were the opposition so memories of the events in the mid-eighties would have been on one or two Celtic minds on the watching TV audience on Celtic TV.
The game got underway with both Rapid and Celtic having good periods of possession. Rapid did seem to have the better of the early chances testing Craig Gordon on numerous occasions. The home side did have the ball in the back of Gordon’s net early on but it was ruled offside after he round the goalkeeper and tucked the ball away.
Shortly afterwards Celtic had their first attempt on goal with Stuart Armstrong coming close. Rapid Vienna did though carry a threat which was shown when Schwab lobbed Gordon only for his cheeky chip to hit the post.
Before the half-time whistle sound, Rapid Vienna did take the lead from a penalty. Boyata badly misplaced his pass with Joelinton latterly being fouled by Gordon. Joelinton then tucked the ball away to give Rapid the lead.
Both sides made many changes at the interval which changed the course of the game.
Celtic seemed to always pose a threat from crosses into the box with two headers narrowly going wide. Celtic did equalise after Johnny Hayes was fouled in the box. Making his return from injury, Moussa Dembele who had not played since the Scottish Cup Semi-Final victory over Rangers in April, cooly slotted the penalty away to bring the Scottish Champions level.
Overall, both penalties awarded were rather soft but again these games do not count for much and the main focus is fitness levels.
Brendan Rodgers spoke about each match getting harder as time goes on.
Next up for the Bhoys is Slavia Prague on Tuesday where ‘The Father of Czech Football’ and former Celtic player Johnny Madden will be remembered.
By Declan McConville