Date: 20th August 2015 at 8:36am
Written by:

Jo Inge Berget’s late strike means Celtic only have a one-goal lead to take to Sweden as they beat Malmo 3-2 in the first-leg of their Champions League play-off tie in Glasgow.

It all started so well for the Bhoys who stormed out of the traps and found themselves 2-0 up in 10 minutes.

Leigh Griffiths, who was preferred in attack to Nadir Ciftci, opened the scoring on three minutes when he side-footed home after some good work from Stuart Armstrong and Stefan Johansen.

19th February 2015 - UEFA Europa League - Last 32 (1st Leg) - Celtic v Inter Milan - Leigh Griffiths of Celtic - Photo: Simon Stacpoole / Offside.

And just seven minutes later Nir Bitton’s header from Johansen’s corner had Celtic Park jumping and Malmo on the ropes.

The provider of both goals, Johansen, then had a great chance to make it three but could only shoot at the keeper when through on goal, while Armstrong drilled a shot just wide of the upright.

Failure to get a third before their opponents was to come back to bite the Scottish champions as their Swedish visitors started to grab a foothold in the match.

Craig Gordon saved well from Vladimir Rodric, who then curled an effort over the bar following some lapses in concentration from the hosts.

And the pressure paid off when, seven minutes after the break, Berget, who had an unsuccessful six-month loan spell at Celtic last term, beat Gordon from a tight angle following a stray Scott Brown header.

Ronny Deila’s side struck back though in the best possible way when Griffiths bagged his second of the night when he looped a header into the net after Anton Tinnerholm failed to clear.

But just when Hoops fans were half dreaming of the teams they could face in the group stage, those thoughts were put firmly on ice when Berget hammered home a loose ball from six yards in the 90th minute.

The second-leg will be played in Malmo’s Swedbank Stadion next Tuesday.

Shoot’s Star Man: Leigh Griffiths

 
Brought to you by Shoot!