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Three colours red: tape and a card . . . but mainly faces

EFE AMBROSE found entry to Poland for Celtic's Champions League qualifier a testing ordeal as immigration officers scrutinised the Nigerian's much-used passport and paperwork.

Miroslav Radic celebrates his and his side's second goal on a night when everything Celtic attempted - their own opening strike aside - ended in disaster. Picture: SNS
Miroslav Radic celebrates his and his side's second goal on a night when everything Celtic attempted - their own opening strike aside - ended in disaster. Picture: SNS

Today, he must be wondering if it was worth the hassle as he found staying around for the duration of the tie against Legia Warsaw a feat beyond him.

Red tape was replaced by a red card as the defender was sent off after just 44 minutes of the first leg tie which 10-man Celtic lost 4-1

It is massive mountain to climb in next week's return at Murrayfield had Legia's captain, Ivica Vrdoljak, not failed with two second-half penalties - both conceded by Charlie Mulgrew - the first was struck past a post, and the second was saved by Fraser Forster, who also pulled off a spectacular save from Michal Zyro.

Ambrose will be suspended for the return leg and unless his team-mates show more determination and discipline against the Polish champions than they did last night, the chances are he has already kicked his last ball in this season's Champions League.

Even before suffering a numerical disadvantage in the Pepsi Arena, Celtic were tested to the maximum - and came up short.

Legia used the width of the pitch and accurate, incisive passing to control the game and earn a lead to bring to Edinburgh.

It made Deila's stated dream of building a side good enough to control a game against a top European side - which Legia are not - appear well short of being realised.He had tried to be bold, and got bitten in the posterior for his trouble.

The selection of Jo Inge Berget, who only joined the club on Monday from Cardiff City on a six-month loan, was a surprise to everyone, not least the 23 year-old Norwegian who has only played half a dozen games this year, four of them for his country.

It was a quick return to the very impressive stadium for the man who played there last year for Molde before his move to Wales.

The change in the back line, Adam Matthews coming in for Emilio Izaguirre, was another talking point for the couple of hundred fans who had made the journey from Scotland - and who suffered attacks by Legia's Ultras in the city centre a few hours before the game

Deila is no slave to convention, and has shown consistent single-mindedness when making his team selections: the continued involvement of 21 year-old Callum McGregor, last season's fall-guy, Pukki, and the switch from Izaguirre to Matthews attest to that.

At least the fans had the comfort of seeing Forster in his usual place, though reports of his imminent departure to Southampton for around £8m suggest he might be watching next week's return leg from afar.

He cut a frustrated figure as he watched Legia waltz through the players in front of him, blasting the ball high into the stand after Miroslav Radovic had scored his and Legia's second of the night with just 36 minutes gone.

The new-look combination on the left of Matthews and Berget - who lasted only 62 minutes - was exposed on numerous occasions, the Welshman in particular struggling to cope with with the pace of Zyro and old-school trickery of Ondrej Duda.

It was Zyro who set up Legia's equaliser, dispatched with some aplomb by the wily and dangerous Radovic, who scored in both legs of their tie against St Pat's.

Zyro also found room and space to cross for the second, won in the air by Michal Kucharczyk, whose knock down set up the Serb to score from close range, with Ambrose guilty of slipping as he was slow to react.

The Celtic defence appealed in vain for handball in the build up, but the referee waved them away.

In the dying minutes, Radovic turned provider after Celtic had been caught out at a short-corner, crossing for Zyro to nip in and head low past Forster from six yards.

And, in injury time, further pain was inflicted when substitute Jakub Kosecki rammed home No.4 from a tight angle.

It was night of massive disappointment for Celtic, the initial one being that Radovic's first goal cancelled out a lead they had held for less than two minutes. As in Iceland, it was McGregor who had provided the breakthrough after eight minutes.

The modus operandi was the same, however, cutting in from the right wing, before whipping in a shot which beat the goalkeeper Dusan Kuciak a t his near post.

That vital away goal should have been the confidence boost Celtic needed in front of a rumbustious Legia crowd. But, like their team, the fans just redoubled their efforts, and the result was a 1-2 which helped knock the stuffing out of Celtic.

When the visitors were reduced to 10 men a minute before the break after Ambrose had pulled down Kucharczyk, who was through on goal, it forced Deila into a hasty rejig of his side. Mulgrew dropped into the back line alongside Virgil van Dijk and Pukki making way at the break for Beram Kayal.

But with Izaguirre on for the badly tiring Berget just after the hour, it was merely a case of trying to salvage the second leg. Like most things Celtic tried, their efforts failed.

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