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It's all over, Bhoys

CELTIC'S Champions League hopes were brutally extinguished at Murrayfield last night as they lost 2-0 to Legia Warsaw to crash out on a 6-1 aggregate.

After losing heavily in Poland last week, the Hoops had talked up the prospects of a stirring comeback but once Michel Zyro shot past goalkeeper Fraser Forster in the 36th minute the result became academic.

Three weeks ago, Legia needed an extra-time goal to earn a draw at home to St Pat's but since then Henning Berg's side have gone from strength to strength.

Being knocked out of the Champions League at this stage is a massive blow for Ronny Deila, who now faces a play-off to reach the consolation of the Europa League.

Campaigns

After back-to-back campaigns in the group stage of the Champions League, looking on from afar will be a bitter - and expensive - experience for Celtic as they face up to a season of transition under the Norwegian.

After the highs of playing Barcelona in consecutive seasons, Deila must steer his side through two ties to reach the group stage of the Europa League, alongside sides like Hull City and their ilk.

Deila made three changes to the side that lost heavily in Poland with Anthony Stokes leading the line supported by Kris Commons.

Emilio Izaguirre returned at left-back with Nir Biton brought into the midfield as the Celtic side began to bear more resemblance to the team that lifted last season's title.

Adam Matthews carved out the first real chance of the match in the tenth minute with a run down the right flank but his cut-back was blocked by goalkeeper Dusan Kuciak under pressure from Stokes.

There was no sign of a cavalry charge from the home side with Legia comfortable in possession while testing Forster with a few long rang shots at goal.

Ten minutes from half time the Poles scored the goal that they had been threatening when Zyro easily shrugged aside the challenge of Izaguirre to race in on goal and shoot low past Forster.

It was no more than Legia deserved as they stuck to the game plan that worked so successfully for them in the first leg of matching Celtic in midfield and breaking forward with purpose.

Deila had attempted to draw inspiration from last season's 3-2 aggregate win over Shakhtar Karagandy, but there was never any hint of a stirring recovery to add to the record books as Legia batted away the little pressure that Celtic managed to exert.

On the hour mark the Celtic defence was again opened up with Michal Kucharczyk stabbing the second goal past Forster with the Hoops failing to show any sign of fight or resistance..


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