Champions League - Ten-man Celtic face elimination after heavy defeat at Legia

Champions League, third qualifying round, first leg - Pepsi Arena - Legia Warsaw 4 (Radovic 10, 36, Zyro 84, Kosecki 90) Celtic 1 (McGregor 8)

Champions League - Ten-man Celtic face elimination after heavy defeat at Legia

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Celtic, Legia

Ten-man Celtic produced a horrific defensive performance in slumping to a 4-1 defeat to Polish champions Legia Warsaw in their Champions League third round qualifier first leg.

Ronny Deila's side made a dream start when Callum McGregor gave them the lead on eight minutes in Warsaw before Celtic contrived to collapse with a hopeless Efe Ambrose sent off before the break as Legia cashed in against a side who were inept all over the Pepsi Arena.

In truth, it could have been worse for the awful Glasgow outfit with Henning Berg's Legia missing two penalties and numerous chances to inflict a heavier defeat upon the visitors, whose hopes of a third straight appearance in the Champions League group stage now looks over.

Miroslav Radovic helped himself to two goals prior to half-time before a header from Michal Zyro and a goal in injury time from Jacub Kosecki condemned Celtic to arguably their worst defeat in Europe since they lost 5-0 in a Champions League final qualifer to Artmedia Bratislava in 2005.

Vrdoljak sent a penalty wide of the goal with Legia winning 2-1 and then saw Fraser Forster pull off a brilliant stop from his second penalty as Celtic gave themselves the briefest of hopes before next week's second leg at Murrayfield.

With Celtic Park out of commission due to the Commonwealth Games, Celtic won't even have home advantage. They need a 3-0 win to progress. It already looks a lost cause for the Scottish side unless there is a remarkable transformation.


Legia had 21 shots on goal to Celtic's six.

The Polish side missed two penalty kicks.


8' - CELTIC OPEN: McGregor scores for Celtic. A quite magical strike. Takes a deflection, and flies over the arms of Dusan Kuciak from 22 yards. Celtic with the opening goal. They lead 1-0.

10' - LEGIA LEVEL: Radovic drives the ball through the legs of Forster. Bad goalkeeping as Celtic are caught cold a minute after moving ahead. It is 1-1 now.

36' - LEGIA MOVE AHEAD: Radovic slides the ball beyond Forster from five yards out. Awful defending. Not sure if Ambrose was fouled there in the middle.

42' - AMBROSE SENT OFF: Ambrose is miles late on Kucharczyk from the Radovic pass. Celtic now down to 10 men. And have to face a free-kick.

58' - LEGIA MISS A PENALTY: Ivica Vrdoljak knocks the ball wide from 12 yards after after Forster headed in the opposite direction.

84' - ZYRO ADDS THE THIRD GOAL: Zyro nods home for Legia from the Radovic cross. Forster can't get there. Awful defending really. And a 3-1 lead now in this first leg. Poor defending.

86' - FORSTER SAVES A PENALTY: Forster makes the stop from Vrdoljak's penalty. Celtic somehow survive. A brilliant stop from Forster.

90+1' - KOSESKI SCORES THE FOURTH: Kosecki scores a fourth goal for the home side. And that is surely that for Celtic in the Champions League.



How bad were Celtic? Very bad. It is easy to say these matches come too early in the season for the Scottish champions. That might be true, but some of the defending was as bad as you will see at any level. The most galling thing for Celtic is that Legia are not a great side. A better side would have scored more than one away goal in Warsaw. Legia didn't have to be to anything better than professional to dismantle a visiting team committed to a form of suicide.

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