Saturday 20 October 2018

Failure to punish 10-man AEK may cost Bhoys

Celtic 1 AEK Athens 1

Callum McGregor fires Celtic into the lead during their 1-1 draw against AEK Athens in Glasgow last night
Callum McGregor fires Celtic into the lead during their 1-1 draw against AEK Athens in Glasgow last night

Ronnie Esplin

Celtic's bid for Champions League football is in grave danger following a 1-1 draw against AEK Athens in the first leg of their third qualifier at Parkhead.

Brendan Rodgers' side came out of the traps with pace and purpose and midfielder Callum McGregor drove in the opening goal in the 17th minute, but that good work was undone two minutes before the break when Victor Klonaridis fired in a breakaway equaliser.

The visitors were reduced to 10 men in the 57th minute when Konstantinos Galanopoulos picked up a second yellow card from Italian referee Luca Banti for tripping James Forrest as he raced towards the AEK penalty area.

Celtic dominated possession but could not get the winner against a well-organised Greek side though, and they have a big task ahead of them in the return game in Athens next Tuesday if they are to reach the play-off against either Malmo of Sweden or Hungarian side MOL Vidi.

AEK Athens Victor Klonaridis celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the match at Celtic Park. Photo: Jeff Holmes/PA
AEK Athens Victor Klonaridis celebrates scoring his side's first goal during the match at Celtic Park. Photo: Jeff Holmes/PA

Irish Independent

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