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Bodo/Glimt 2 Celtic 0 (5-1): Hoops crash out of Europa Conference League after humiliating defeat

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CELTIC are OUT of the Europa Conference League after suffering a humiliating 5-1 defeat to Bodo/Glimt on aggregate.

Coming into this game, Ange Postecoglou’s men were left needing two goals to at least bring the score level in Norway.

Ola Solbakken celebrates with his team-mates after scoring for Celtic
Ola Solbakken celebrates with his team-mates after scoring for Celtic
Kenny Ramsay

But his team selection raised eyebrows as many fans wondered whether he had an eye on the Hoops’ upcoming Premiership fixtures.

Callum McGregor, Josip Juranovic and Liel Abada were among those left on the bench as Nir Bitton, Tony Ralston and Liam Scales all started.

And none of the latter three were able to make an impact on the tie as Celtic were made to suffer yet more heartbreak in a European knockout tie.

The Hoops lived dangerously in the opening stages as Bodo/Glimt had chances to open the scoring.

And the home supporters were soon calling for a penalty when Ulrik Saltnes fell under the challenge of Ralston.

The defender was forced into action when Joe Hart played a short pass that the Bodo skipper was quick to intercept.

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However, the challenge looked soft and the referee allowed play to continue.

But Celtic’s start to the game was only made even worse when the Norwegian side opened the scoring in the ninth minute.

Elias Hagen picked up the ball in the middle of the field before taking it forward into the final third and passing it out to Ola Solbakken on the right-hand side of the box.

He was then able to take advantage of Scales standing off him to fire a shot past Hart into the far corner.

Bodo/Glimt nearly had a second just minutes later when Amahl Pellegrino broke through on goal, but Hart was able to make the stop this time.

Celtic had to find some way back into the game but struggled to put together regular spells of possession, let alone create chances.

They did break forward in one promising move midway through the half.

But James Forrest perhaps held on to the ball a little too long and the Hoops were ultimately forced to pass it back to their defence.

Bodo/Glimt continued to threaten Celtic with Solbakken in particular hassling the Hoops down their left-hand side.

While Pellegrino was able to beat several defenders at one point as he ran across the box, but his shot was blocked.

The Norwegian then had another big chance to double his side’s lead 10 minutes before half-time.

Bitton gave the ball away when Celtic were in the home side’s half, and Bodo/Glimt quickly went on the attack.

The ball was played through to Pellegrino and he sprinted at goal, and but for another Hart save, it could easily have been 2-0.

Solbakken then fired a shot at goal on the rebound but luckily for the Hoops, it went wide of the post.

Celtic finally had their first real chance of the half shortly before the break when they won a free kick on the left wing.

As the ball came into the box, Carl Starfelt was able to connect but his shot went over the bar.

Though even if he had scored, it wouldn’t have counted as the linesman promptly raised his flag for offside.

All in all, it was an utterly forgettable first half performance for Celtic with the travelling fans making their displeasure known at the break.

Postecoglou made changes for the second half as McGregor and Abada replaced Tom Rogic and Matt O’Riley respectively.

And it certainly seemed to work as the Hoops looked more composed in the middle of the park.

The visitors were even able to put together an attack that resulted in Abada appealing for a penalty for handball.

The Israeli international latched on to a back-heeled pass from Daizen Maeda and aimed a shot at goal.

The ball then appeared to strike the arm of a Bodo/Glimt defender before going out of play.

But the referee wasn’t interested in awarding Celtic a spot kick over the incident.

Abada almost got on the end of a cross just minutes later when the home side hesitated in clearing the danger.

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Fortunately for them, the winger just couldn’t get there in enough time to turn the ball into the net.

As torrential rain began to blow in across the pitch, Celtic continued to look threatening as they chased down a goal.

But Bodo/Glimt, while struggling to get forward as much as they had in the first half, remained organised in their defence.

Maeda had a brilliant chance to bring the score level on the night when Forrest played him through the goal.

The Japanese international couldn’t take advantage of the opportunity though as he skied his shot over the bar.

However, Celtic’s albeit slim hopes of advancing to the Last 16 of the competition were well and truly ended midway through the half.

Morten Konradsen picked up the ball on the left-hand side for Bodo/Glimt before sending a cross into the box.

And there was Hugo Vetlesen waiting to fire the ball into the net to double his side’s lead on the night and make it 5-1 on aggregate.

The midfielder was forced off with injury just moments later but he could rest easy in the knowledge the job was done.

Abada continued to look lively for Celtic despite the deficit and was able to aim a shot at goal, thought it was yet another that went over the bar.

However, as the game wore on, Bodo/Glimt were clearly content to just see the game out as they booked their place in the next round.

As for the Hoops, it was a night and overall tie to forget.

And while Postecoglou and the team will face criticism, they must quickly put the game behind them as they turn their attention back to the title race.

Celtic keeper Joe Hart makes a save
Celtic keeper Joe Hart makes a save
Kenny Ramsay
Celtic star James Forrest holds off Bodo/Glimt's Brice Wembangomo
Celtic star James Forrest holds off Bodo/Glimt’s Brice Wembangomo
Kenny Ramsay

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