The end of Celtic’s Champions League qualification hopes following the 2-0 loss to RB Leipzig in east Glasgow could only demand some home truths.
Fabulous ambience in dive with decline
Celtic’s struggle for competitive Champions League results in the four group campaigns they have featured in over the past decade has had all sorts of consequences. It’s not just the notion that the club’s players are capable of conjuring up magical results in the Celtic spotlight that has no basis in today’s reality – seven home defeats on the spin in the competition see to that.
The legendary properties of the Parkhead Arena at such parties have also always been associated with an electric atmosphere seemingly unrivaled in European football. It was nowhere in evidence as Celtic were kicked off by Leipzig. Even if the men of Ange Postecoglou had their fate in the meeting, and should have led at half-time, the fact that the Germans started greatly calmed the stadium. A quarter of an hour in silence that enveloped the bowl made the scene look like a Ross County midweek league. The legitimate collective neurosis that the faithful of the club can only feel in the face of such assignments has the effect of drowning out the noise. When your side have just two wins from 24 matches in the competition and have failed to score in eight of 12 home encounters, such occasions rarely offer much cause for shouting.
There could be an advantage in a Champions League campaign that has brought Celtic one point from four games and – barring an unlikely set of results in the last two rounds – will see them back Group F to drop out. completely the European competition. next month. Ange Postecolgou has shown no signs of itchy feet just 15 months into his Celtic tenure. Imagine, however, if his side tore him apart in the Champions League after their jaw-dropping title overthrow last season. Then his stock in England would have increased to such an extent that it’s entirely possible that an offer from the mighty south that’s hard to refuse has materialized. Scottish football is held in such low regard across the border that simply dominating domestically is unlikely to be a solid calling card for a coach of that country’s setup and him. brings really desirable openings. The position Postecoglou is in.
Horrendous all-time Champions League record claimed
It’s incredible to consider that in their first 22 home games in the competition, Celtic have only lost twice. Both of these defeats came at the hands of Barcelona. The first came during the Martin O’Neill era in 2004. It was the only such setback in nine group stage matches in which seven wins and one draw were won. The second was under his successor Gordon Strachan in the last 16 of February 2008. He made 11 home appearances in the competition – with a last scoreless draw against eventual winners AC Milan the year previous – and posted a record of seven wins, three draws and just one defeat.
Turning forward and, since reaching the last 16 under Neil Lennon in 2012-13 with two wins and a draw in their home group games, Celtic have played 12 times on their own patch in the tournament of the blue ribbon and won only once. , with 10 defeats (including the last 16 against Juventus in February 2013). By losing all of their last seven, they became the first team in three decades of competition to suffer such a fate.