Celtic lined up against Norwegian side Rosenborg on Wednesday in the Champions League third qualifying round first leg. The match would end 0-0 and it leaves both teams with plenty of work to do come the second leg next week. Here are three thoughts on the match:
Suspensions and injuries hamper Hoops
Celtic were forced to play from the off without a recognized striker due to the injury of Moussa Dembele and the suspension of Leigh Griffiths, and that seriously has thrown shade on their hopes of progression now. Because of their absences, Celtic lacked a focal point and have to be sweating now.
Next week’s match means Griffiths only has six days to now recover from an ankle injury of his own, and that is really going to be pushing it at a time where they must win.
Gordon keeps Celtic in it
It pays to have an experienced, classy goalkeeper. Craig Gordon is just that, and it just goes to show how important is was that Celtic were able to keep him while all sorts of rumors in prior months.
Gordon made a big save from Nicklas Bendtner at one point, before making a late save from Elbasan Rashani to keep Celtic in it. Those two saves could well see them move on now, as conceding an away goal would have been tough to come back from.
Celtic fail to build on possession
Celtic dominated possession, as expected, but especially so in the early stages of the first half. They are very good with the ball at their feet, no doubt, and it is a great trait to have. But the fact they couldn’t poach just one goal from it is worrying.
This all the more troubling because they may not have a striker as they go to Norway next week. On top of that, they are playing a team that are deep into their season. They must build on that work with the ball to move forward to the playoff round.