Tuesday 12 December 2017

Ambrose howler as Celtic throw away two-goal lead

Celtic 2 Fenerbahce 2

Robin Van Persie: new colours
Robin Van Persie: new colours
Celtic's Scottish midfielder Kris Commons (2nd R) vies with Fenerbahce's Turkish midfielder Volkan Sen

Roddy Forsyth

Celtic threw away their chance to make headway in Group A of the Europa League as Fenerbahce fought back from a two-goal deficit to claim a point at Parkhead.

Ronny Deila's men scored twice in four minutes through Leigh Griffiths and Kris Commons midway through the first half before the Turks scored either side of the break.

There was talk about a rift between Fenerbahce's summer signing Robin van Persie and coach Vitor Pereira in the build-up to the game but the 32-year-old Dutchman was handed a start, supported from wide by former Manchester United team-mate Nani.

Celtic settled into a more expansive rhythm and the principal menace came from Commons.

From a corner shortly before the half-hour mark, Commons planted his delivery on to the head of Mikael Lustig, whose nod-on was met by Griffiths at the back post. The shot was blocked, but Griffiths rammed home the rebound.

Celtic shifted up a couple of gears and doubled their advantage within four minutes when James Forrest shredded Sener Ozbayrakli and directed a cutback straight to Commons, who slashed his drive into the roof of the net.

Celtic were now in command of their own destiny, but Efe Ambrose made a horrible misjudgement - the latest in an erratic career - of a straightforward punt by Raul Meireles.

The defender allowed the ball to drop in front of him and then tried to tidy up with a feeble header towards his own goal, which fell straight in front of Fernandão, who ticked his shot below Craig Gordon.

"We made a stupid mistake," lamented manager Deila.

Celtic conceded a corner three minutes after the restart and Fernandão reached it ahead of Ambrose to equalise with a bullet-like header. (© Daily Telegraph, London)


Irish Independent

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