WORRIED Manuel Pellegrini has warned Cetic’s Europa League Group G opponents Real Betis they “are going out” of the competition – unless they recover from last night’s four-goal mauling from Bayer Leverkusen in Germany.
At the same time as the Spaniards were being shredded by Jeremie Frimpong and Co, Ange Postecoglou’s men were celebrating back-to-backs victories over Ferencvaros with a 3-2 success in Budapest.
The Hoops moved onto six points following strikes from Kyogo Furuhashi, Fiipe Jota and Liel Abada and are due to face the La Lega side on Thursday December 9 at Parkhead which could be a decider to see which club advances to the next stage of the competition.
TWO FOR THE ROAD…Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada celebrate Celtic’s opening goal against Ferencvaros.
Postecoglou’s team blew a two-goal lead before losing 4-3 in Seville in September and that may be a lapse that could cost them dearly.
However, former Manchester City manager Pellegrini is now concerned that his forecast “you have to consider Celtic” when the draw was made and the Spanish media made the assumption the German cracks and the La Liga club would be certainties to go through.
The Chilean boss slammed his players for their nosedive and said: “Bayer Leverkusen surpassed us in every department. We didn’t play well defensively or in an attacking sense.
“It was an extremely bad performance like that and if we play like that in the two remaining games, we are going out of the competition.”
JOTA’S JIG OF JOY…Portuguese ace Filipe Jota celebrates his goal for the Hoops to make it 2-1 for the visitors.
Pellegrini, in a report in the Daily Record, added: “We have to self-criticise and look at every aspect of our game. The team are aware of how bad that was.
“It’s up to us to get better.
“It was a mixture of us playing against very good opponents and my team significantly dropping their performance.”
Celtic’s penultimate game in the group is against the Germans on Thursday November 25 while Betis face Ferencvaros.
Depending on results, a winner-takes-all clash could be on the cards in the east end of Glasgow next month.