CELTIC needed to avoid defeat in their Europa League game against RB Leipzig last night to keep their hopes of European football after Christmas alive.

An early strike from Kieran Tierney got Brendan Rodgers's men off to the perfect start and they should have killed off the visitors thereafter.

Jean-Kevin Augustin silenced Parkhead in the 78th minute with a goal against the run of play - but Odsonne Edouard gave the home team the lead again just a minute later.

So what did we learn from an incredible night in the East End of Glasgow?


This was a must-win game for Celtic.

A draw would certainly have kept alive their chances of progressing to the last 32. But they would have been relying on their opponents last night to slip up in their remaining two fixtures against runaway Group B leaders Salzburg away and Rosenborg at home.

The double treble winners rose to the challenge they faced and then some. After wretched defeats away in Austria and Germany against the Red Bull-owned sides they produced a rousing display and recorded a narrow but richly-deserved victory to raise hopes among their supporters that a last 32 spot can be secured.

There is some way to go. They must attain this high level against Rosenborg in Norway at the end of the month and then Salzburg in Glasgow in their final fixture. But there are certainly grounds for optimism after a famous triumph.


Celtic dominated this game from kick-off. Kieran Tierney, who had an outstanding game at left back and received the Man of the Match award at the end of 90 coruscating minutes, showed remarkable composure to control a square ball from James Forrest and then fire a shot beyond Yvon Mvogo.

But he and his team mates were often founding wanting in the final third thereafter. They should have capitalised on their superiority to a far greater degree and won far more comfortably than they did in the end.

Odsonne Edouard, Forrest, Tom Rogic, Tierney and Scott Sinclair all had opportunities and all failed to convert them. The latter, in particular, should have done better when he was through on the keeper early in the second-half.

Sinclair has showed far better form of late - reminiscent, in fact, of his stellar debut season in Scotland - but he clearly needs to sharpen up his finishing.

Still, Rodgers was content that his team cut their opponents open at the back repeatedly.

Leipzig struggled to do the same. Craig Gordon was certainly tested. But only really by hopeful attempts from outside his penalty area. He did well to block a glancing Marcel Sabitzer header at a Marcel Halstenberg corner in the second-half. But that was pretty much it.

So the Leipzig goal, when it came in the 12 minutes from the end of regulation time was hard for Celtic to take given how one-sided the encounter had been. It would have been an injustice if they had taken a point.


Brendan Rodgers was unable to hide his displeasure at his inability to strengthen his squad significantly in the summer.

But in Filip Benkovic, the Croatian centre half who arrived on loan from Leicester City, he unearthed a gem. The defender was exceptional alongside Dedryck Boyata again last night.

And the club record £9 million transfer fee that the Scottish champions paid their French counterparts Paris Saint-Germain for striker Odsonne Edouard was also a shrewd piece of business.

The forward scored what proved to be the winning goal after good work by Scott Sinclair and Ryan Christie with 10 minutes remaining. But his all-round performance was superb.

He got in good positions in the final third and his powerful runs into the opposition box caused all kinds of problems for the away team. It is incredible to think he is just 20 and there is so much more to come


When Konrad Laimer, the Austrian midfielder, calmly retained possession near the corner flag in his own half instead of shelling it upfield to safety despite the close attentions of two Celtic players to safety early on it was obvious this was no ordinary visiting team.

Their Germans’ technical ability was a joy to watch, their pressing meant their rivals had to move the ball quickly and accurately, which they certainly did, and they fought doggedly to the end for an equaliser and struck the woodwork.

They will beat Rosenborg at home in their final fixture. If they overcome Salzburg away next up they can land one of the two places in the knockout rounds which are up for grabs.

Could this scoreline prove costly when the section is over? Qualification for the last 32 will come down to head-to-head record and, having won 2-0 at home last month, Ralf Rangnick’s men have the advantage there.


The much-maligned “disco lights” at Celtic Park, installed at a cost of, depending who you believe, between £2 million and £4 million during the close season, made their long-awaited debut last night

The stadium announcer promised spectators they were about to see the ground in a different light before kick-off. So was it all worth it? It was very jolly indeed. The fans in the sell—out crowd certainly seemed to enjoy it

The atmosphere at Celtic Park on European nights has always been pretty special, unique even, and this addition enhances it even further.