Celtic's first accomplishment under Ronny Deila has been to book a place in the knockout stage of the Europa League with a game to spare, but in hamfisted fashion as they conceded two goals to the dangerous Brazilian, Alan in a chaotic opening spell.
They recovered to score through Stefan Johansen and finished in assured fashion, yet conceded a third to Grzegorz Krychowiak and had to be ushered through to the last 32by Dinamo Zagreb’s defeat in Romania.
The point of maximum contrast between these sides was in attack, where the Salzburg captain, Jonatan Soriano, had plundered a grand total of 28 goals so far this season.
Celtic, by contrast, invested their hope in Leigh Griffiths, a striker often literally sidelined by Deila and whose return for 15 prior appearances was three goals.
It took 15 seconds to confirm that Griffiths would have to feed off scraps, as Salzburg moved immediately into their pressing game to dispossess Emilio Izaguirre. By the quarter hour mark the Austrian team were two goals to the good and should have been three ahead.
Not for the first time, the evidence was that Deila’s plans were not fitted to the task at hand and it’s hard to see them making any further progress in the competition.
© Daily Telegraph, London.