3 talking points as Celtic affected by late display after sweet Bayer Leverkusen clash that ended Europa League hopes

Bayer Leverkusen is backed by one of the largest pharmaceutical companies in the world and Celtic Swallow the worst pill in North Rhine.

The Hoops were on track for their first-ever famous win on German soil after coming from behind to take the lead at BayArena only to get nauseous after a late, late display after a breathless 90 minutes.

Robert Andric headed home just 16 minutes after Celtic failed to respond to an earlier warning when the midfielder ran wide from the goal with a corner kick.

Anzhi Postecoglou’s men were second but equalized five minutes before halftime in a superb fashion as Josip Juranović scored a penalty from Panenka.

And then, after a fantastic double save from Joe Hart, Jota completed an incredible turn as he fired them in front an hour before.

It was great stuff, but Andreich completed his double with just nine minutes left to deny Celtic a famous win and Moussa Diaby scored a dramatic win.

This ends Celtic’s football hopes in the Europa League group stage, but they still have the solace of the Conference League, which is already guaranteed.

Gerardo Seoane’s men crushed hoops 4-0 at the east end of Glasgow but have won only twice in their last eight matches in this match.

Visitors wanted to add to this irregular shape and handed Hampden the hero James Forrest His first start since August when he was looking for the Germans.

But Celtic were fortunate not to be behind after just 10 minutes when Andric headed in a free-kick from a corner.

The hoops were in control and the familiar face of Jeremy Frimpong was causing problems at the bottom right of Leverkusen.

The home side’s increasingly likely opener came with just over a quarter of an hour to play – and it was a carbon copy of Bayer’s earlier chance.

Wonder boy Florian Wirtz swung in a corner from the right and this time Andreich hit the target as he ran into the penalty area to fire a shot past Joe Hart.

It was hard to see the way back at that point but Kyogo fell behind and although an offside was reported and his shot was off target it was at least a positive sign.

Then they returned to the match when Greek referee Tasos Sidiropoulos consulted the VAR before awarding a penalty after Kyogo was eliminated by Bayer goalkeeper and captain Lukas Hradecky in a Jota cross.

Juranović went up and it was as cool as you want the Croatian to throw the ball in the middle and off the underside of the crossbar.

It was a daring skill at an important moment but he was so negligent at the other end before the break that it almost cost his team.

Dirty play gave Leverkusen possession as Celtic saved twice via woodwork – first when Diaby hit the crossbar and then Amine Adly rebounded off the post.

If the goal frame came to their rescue on that occasion, it was goalkeeper Hart who miraculously stopped to keep the Germans away early in the second half.

The hosts came in easily as Diaby moved away from Anthony Ralston but Hart saved with his feet and then Adly thought he got the ball from the rebound but the Celtic goalkeeper somehow recovered to save again.

It was heroic stuff and that was emphasized as the hoops advanced and then Hart began to counterattack with a throw to James Forrest.

Forrest pinned him in the track of David Turnbull who fed Nir Bitton and the Israeli played it Kigo Which, after Frimpong slipped, released it to Jota and fired a fine shot into the far corner.

Celtic were in dreamland but they had 34 minutes to hold on and it looked like they would.

But two goals in five minutes in the final 10 minutes of the match left them sick and it must be said that two late double changes – Nir Beaton and Kyogo out with James McCarthy and Alban Ajete after Lille Abada and Mickey Johnston replaced Jota and James Forrest – didn’t help.

Andreich got his second goal and ironically it was a shot from Hart’s legs and then turned to provide a cross pass that Diaby boarded to send a superb shot into the net.


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Here are three talking points from BayArena

Highscores vs. the best in the future But defensive naivety is expensive

“We have to measure ourselves against the best,” he said. Angie Postecoglou Before what was the most difficult test for them in the group.

Certainly, his Celtic side went toe-to-toe against a big and superior team in a country they had never won, which makes defeat very difficult.

Given that the Hoops lost 4-0 at home to the Bundesliga side, this illustrated the big strides Celtic have taken under Postecoglou.

It has always taken the former Australia coach a while for the team to play in his style, but they dread when they’re in full flow and just need to tighten that defence.

The first goal was to defend the schoolboy and in the lead 2-1 they should not have been left with nothing.

all hart

Celtic’s top players have earned a lot of praise this season for Angeball’s fluid and eye-catching style.

But, while it seemed suspicious at times, signing Joe Hart from Tottenham Hotspur was shrewd.

And he succeeded in making an incredible save at all to deny Amine Adly, who thought he had hit the ball after the ball broke him after Hart made the initial save by Moussa Diaby.

It was an incredible stop and at a critical time as Hobbs climbed into the park soon after to score the second goal.

Hart stopped with another fine with the foot of Adly but was hit, ironically, by a bullet in the legs a little later than that late.

Claiming great Croatian penalty kicks

Celtic have been in a spot of anxiety lately when Giorgos Giacomakis He missed a last-minute opportunity to score an important victory over Livingston from the penalty spot.

Many legions of hoops were scratching their heads over why the Greek had taken the ball in the first place after Josip Joranovic had scored two previous penalties.

But Ange Postecoglou made it clear that Giacomakis is the designated candidate and has not been on the field on previous occasions.

Well, surely there can be no discussion now. Hearts were in their mouths when his careless penalty hit the crossbar but it took a whole lot of players to try it out and it was rewarded with a draw.

And the full-back must stay on penalties from now on even if it means some nerves when he advances in the future.


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