Bodo/Glimt 2-0 Celtic (5-1 agg): Hoops limply crash out of Europe

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Celtic will now focus on domestic competitions for the 2021/22 campaign after being eliminated from the Europa Conference League at the hands of Norwegian outfit Bodo/Glimt.

Goals from Ola Solbakken and Hugo Vetlesen made the aggregate result a comfortable one for Bodo/Glimt, as the tie finished with a comprehensive 5-1 scoreline in favour of the hosts.

Ange Postecoglou’s men were humbled 3-1 in the first leg at Celtic Park a week ago, though the scoreline meant that they headed to Norway still with slight hopes of progression.

Those hopes were dashed early on in the second leg as Solbakken scored with just nine minutes on the clock.

Celtic were caught cold by a quick attack from the home side, with the ball making its way to the number nine, who cut inside on his cultured left foot to curl a lovely finish into the bottom left corner.

Stephen Welsh, a surprise entry into the starting XI, was at fault for the goal as he failed to show Solbakken onto his weaker foot down the right wing. His poor positioning and body shape meant that the forward had an easy decision to make to cut inside.

Celtic somehow made it to the break at just 1-0 as the half-time scoreline could have been a lot worse.

Postecoglou will likely have been furious at the care kept in possession, particularly in the first half. Celtic looked completely spooked whenever they put the foot on the ball, with Nir Bitton reverting back to his lackadaisical, lazy self which has seen him criticised for the majority of his time at the club.

Indeed, it was a mistake from Bitton, running into a crowded cul-de-sac in the final third, which allowed Bodo to break forward and nearly make it 2-0 in the 36th minute.

Anthony Ralston was also posted missing as Amahl Pellegrino burst through on goal to force Joe Hart into a terrific save.

Before the game, eyebrows were raised at the lineup as the likes of Callum McGregor, Jota, Reo Hatate and Liel Abada were left on the bench.

McGregor and Abada were introduced at the break and Celtic improved ever-so-slightly, but Bodo were never under sustained pressure.

It was arguably against the run of play, but the home side made it two in the 68th minute. Pellegrino reversed a pass down the channel for Morten Konradsen to send a teasing cross to the back post.

Liam Scales and retreating midfielders were nowhere to be found as Vetlesen smartly finished into the bottom corner.

Only three minutes before that, Daizen Maeda spurned a golden opportunity to make it 1-1 on the night, blazing over from inside the area.

It was a chastening evening for Celtic and Postecoglou, but all systems are now go in the Scottish Premiership.

Celtic Exchange Man of the Match: Joe Hart

McGregor improved things after entering the action, as did Abada, but Hart kept the scoreline from becoming truly embarrassing with a couple of smart saves.

Celtic’s next match

Celtic return to league duties on Sunday afternoon when they travel to Easter Road to face Hibs.

Following Rangers’ draw with Dundee United last weekend and the Hoops’ subsequent, dramatic 3-2 victory against Dundee, Postecoglou’s charges are currently three points clear of their city rivals in the Scottish Premiership.


Watch Bodo Glimt v Celtic “The Final Whistle – Live”

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