Celtic’s hopes of progressing within the Europa League have been dashed as a late fightback from Bayer Leverkusen denied them a well-known victory in Germany.
Ange Postecoglou’s spirited aspect knew they’d in all probability require a win to maintain their last-32 dream alive they usually have been on track till the closing phases after a Josip Juranovic penalty and a strike from Jota cancelled out Robert Andrich’s early aim for the hosts.
However, Leverkusen hit again twice within the closing eight minutes to win 3-2 and prime the group.
The end result means Celtic will drop into the Conference League after Christmas, with Real Betis going via within the Europa League as runners-up.
Postecoglou mentioned: “It is a troublesome one to take. We kinda hung in there and gave ourselves an opportunity to drag off a fantastic end result however finally they’re an excellent workforce and we didn’t end the sport off in the way in which we may have. Credit to the gamers as a result of Leverkusen are a unbelievable workforce and we got here to their again yard and gave them a sport.
“We weren’t capable of management the sport the way in which we needed as a result of they’ve high quality of their aspect they usually’re at all times a menace on the counter-attack so we needed to be a bit cautious. We hung in there and Joe (Hart) made some good saves.
“The again 4 labored actually arduous to maintain us within the sport after which we obtained our goals. We simply couldn’t hold on in the long run which was disappointing for the gamers as a result of they put in a large effort however there’s nonetheless a spot between us and them, and that’s what we have to bridge.”
Celtic made one change to the aspect that defeated St Johnstone in Saturday’s Premier Sports Cup semi-final, with James Forrest coming in for his first begin in additional than three months in place of Liel Abada.
The Germans signalled their intent within the tenth minute when Andrich headed over from a Florian Wirtz nook.
Celtic have been wanting fairly comfy within the early phases, though Cameron Carter-Vickers needed to make a significant clearance from inside his personal six-yard field when Jeremie Frimpong darted into the field and drilled a harmful low ball throughout the face of aim within the twelfth minute.
The guests didn’t heed the warning from Leverkusen’s earlier nook, they usually fell behind within the sixteenth minute when Andrich obtained in entrance of Stephen Welsh to move in one other Wirtz supply.
Celtic had a uncommon foray ahead within the thirty fifth minute which resulted in David Turnbull threading a via ball in behind for Kyogo Furuhashi however the offside flag was raised because the Japanese attacker burst into the field and fired a low angled shot simply behind the far publish.
Having been held again for lengthy durations of the match, the guests obtained themselves degree within the thirty ninth minute with a penalty awarded following a VAR overview after Leverkusen goalkeeper Lukas Hradecky clattered into Kyogo whereas attempting to defend a cross into the field from Jota.
Hradecky was booked and Juranovic produced a nonchalant end as he chipped a spot-kick in off the underside of the crossbar.
Juranovic was lucky to get away with a lapse within the forty fourth minute when he gave the ball away cheaply simply outdoors his space permitting Moussa Diaby to fireplace a strong angled half-volley off the publish earlier than Wirtz despatched the rebound crashing in opposition to the other publish.
Celtic had one other main let-off eight minutes after the break when Joe Hart made a superb double save to disclaim Diaby after which Amine Adli.
Remarkably, Celtic took the lead within the 56th minute when Jota drilled in a scientific low angled shot from simply contained in the field after being teed up by Kyogo following some sensible play by Forrest and Nir Bitton.
Hart made a pair of saves to disclaim Adli because the Scots began to consider they could be closing in on their first victory in Germany. But Andrich put an finish to their hopes within the 82nd minute when he drilled a low shot via the legs of Hart from 12 yards out after being arrange by substitute Nadiem Amiri.
The hosts then claimed victory within the 87th minute when Diaby volleyed residence after being picked out by a chipped cross from Wirtz.