Sunday 19 January 2020

Soccer in brief: Celtic reserves lose on travels

Ronny Deila concedes he made too many changes following Celtic's 1-0 defeat by Inverness. David Maher / SPORTSFILE
Ronny Deila concedes he made too many changes following Celtic's 1-0 defeat by Inverness. David Maher / SPORTSFILE

Celtic manager Ronny Deila conceded he may have made too many changes ahead of his side's game against Inverness.

The Norwegian made 10 switches from the midweek draw at Maribor in the Champions League play-off, with only captain Charlie Mulgrew retaining his place ahead of the return leg at Parkhead.

Inverness triumphed 1-0 at the Tulloch Caledonian Stadium thanks to Eoghan O'Connell's 65th-minute own goal.

Deila admitted the number of changes may have been too great, but felt the sacrifice would prove worthwhile if they beat Maribor on Tuesday.

"I learned a lot about the players that came in, but maybe there were too many new players," he said.

"There were probably too many at the same time and we didn't get the performance we wanted. We now have to focus on Tuesday.

"I have to congratulate Inverness because they played well, but we had the better chances in the first half.

"You will see on Tuesday if I regret making too many changes, but, of course, it will be worth it if we win."

Quickest ever Bundesliga goal

Karim Bellarabi scored the quickest goal ever recorded in Bundesliga history and then set up a second one for Stefan Kiessling as Bayer Leverkusen stunned hosts Borussia Dortmund with a 2-0 win.

The winger struck home after only nine seconds of the match, beating the previous quickest goal records - which were set by Giovane Elber and Ulf Kirsten -by two seconds to leave the Westfalenstadion shellshocked.

He then teed up forward Kiessling for the second goal, which was scored deep into second-half stoppage time, with Bayer Leverkusen proving to be good value for their win during manager Roger Schmidt's first game in charge.

McCoist refutes Palace job claims

Rangers boss Ally McCoist stressed he had had no contact with Crystal Palace over their managerial vacancy after yesterday's 4-1 win against Dumbarton.

McCoist claimed he did not know where reports linking him with Selhurst Park had come from.

"There has been no contact at all with Crystal Palace," he said. "As you can imagine, I have a serious amount of work to do here and anyone who knows me will appreciate it is important to see it through.

"The most immediate job is to get us out of this division. I'm desperate to do that as quickly as possible and my short and long-term job is to do that.

First-half goals from Lee McCulloch and Darren McGregor set Rangers up for another home win on the back of last Monday's 8-1 hammering of Clyde.

Graham secures win for Norwich

Neil Adams has called on his Norwich side to make an instant return to the Premier League after a 1-0 derby day victory over Ipswich.

The Canaries made it three consecutive wins thanks to Lewis Grabban claiming the winner and his fourth goal in eight days.

After brushing off an opening day defeat at Wolves, Adams believes the club should be challenging for promotion come May - a fact backed up by disappointed Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy.

The City boss was a surprise appointment for many in the summer, but he has quickly won over any doubting fans.

Adams said: "I know there were some doubts when I got the job, but it is all about results.

"We are a Premier League club - we should be in the Premier League. We don't have to sell any players."

Magath is bullish despite large loss

Fulham manager Felix Magath remains confident he can take Fulham back to the Premier League, but he admits there will be changes after they were thrashed 5-1 at Derby.

A fourth consecutive defeat leaves Fulham at the foot of the Championship, although Magath believes that he can revive their fortunes.

"That was the worst performance, but the good thing about today is that it is clear we have to change something," Magath said.

When he was asked if he believed he was the right man to guide Fulham through the Championship, he replied: "Yes, for sure."

Pearce delight with new boys

Stuart Pearce praised Nottingham Forest's new signings for making an immediate impact as three of them scored in the 4-0 win over Reading.

Michail Antonio netted twice and set up another for Matty Fryatt, while the £5million striker Britt Assombalonga also scored as the Reds romped to an emphatic win.

"The most important thing for me is not the result, it is how quickly the new faces have settled into the team. That is the most pleasing thing," Pearce said.

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