Champions League - Qualifying - Play-off - 1st Leg
NK Maribor1Celtic1

Maribor 1-1 Celtic

Callum McGregor celebrates after scoring for Celtic against NK Maribor
McGregor scored his fourth goal of the season in Maribor

Celtic restored a sense of European pride with a very creditable Champions League play-off first-leg draw with Maribor in Slovenia.

Callum McGregor scored his third goal of this qualifying campaign to put Ronny Deila's side in front early on.

They were quickly pegged back by a well-taken Damjan Bohar equaliser.

Both sides had numerous further chances but Celtic, reinstated to the competition in place of Legia Warsaw, are now clear favourites to go through.

Deila's men only took their place in the play-off round because their conquerors in the previous round fielded an ineligible player.

Callum McGregor scores for Celtic against NK Maribor
McGregor's goal gives Celtic an advantage ahead of the second leg

The Norwegian stressed the importance of learning lessons from the defeats by Legia and, on the whole, it appeared both he and his players had done that.

This was a more mature performance and gives the Scottish champions a terrific opportunity of progressing to the lucrative group stage when NK Maribor visit Celtic Park on Tuesday.

Perhaps crucially they bring back an away goal, which had a familiar look about it.

Media playback is not supported on this device

Interview - Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor

McGregor's start to the season has been a sensational one and, just as he did in Reykjavik and Warsaw, he put Celtic ahead.

Stefan Johansen's deep cross was perfect for Jo Inge Berget, who had done well to stay onside, and though his shot was blocked by goalkeeper Jasmin Handanovic, young winger McGregor was on hand to smash the ball into the net.

Celtic looked far more composed and much less vulnerable to the counter-attack than they had in Poland, but a fragility at the heart of their defence was exposed as Zeljko Filipovic slid a pass between Virgil van Dijk and Jason Denayer for Bohar to tuck past the hitherto untroubled Craig Gordon.

Damjan Bohar celebrates after scoring for NK Maribor against Celtic
Bohar levelled eight minutes after his side had fallen behind

But unlike the collapse in Warsaw, Celtic did not fold and but for two instances of real misfortune would have been back in front before half-time as first Charlie Mulgrew watched a back-post header cleared off the line by Filipovic before Van Dijk's effort smacked Johansen in the face, preventing an apparently inevitable goal.

Gordon had work to do too, pushing powerful shots from Petar Stojanovic and Agim Ibraimi away to safety in the first half and doing likewise with a second-half Ibraimi downward header.

But the keeper's best work came in the dying minutes as he threw himself high to his right to keep out another Ibraimi drive, this time from 35 yards.

Celtic were certainly forced to defend deeper in the second period but they had chances of their own - Van Dijk testing Handanovic from long range and Beram Kayal having what looked like a penalty turned down by Czech referee Pavel Kralovec, while Johansen also passed up a terrific chance after bursting through only to be blocked by Handanovic.

And though a second goal would have made for an even greater result to take back to Glasgow, they will still fancy their chances of reaching the group stage for a third successive season.

Stefan Johansen and Virgil van Dijk
Van Dijk's first-half header cannoned off team-mate Johansen
Stefan Johansen and Jasmin Handanovic
Handanovic saved at the feet of Johansen to prevent the Celtic midfielder scoring in the second half


NK Maribor

  • 33Handanovic
  • 30Stojanovic
  • 26Rajcevic
  • 4Suler
  • 28Viler
  • 22VrsicSubstituted forMendyat 72'minutes
  • 5FilipovicBooked at 51mins
  • 21DervisevicSubstituted forMerteljat 81'minutes
  • 39BoharSubstituted forSallalichat 79'minutes
  • 10Ibraimi
  • 9Morales Tavares


  • 1Cotman
  • 7Mejac
  • 8Sallalich
  • 11Zahovic
  • 14Mendy
  • 44Bordignon
  • 70Mertelj


  • 26Gordon
  • 23LustigBooked at 90mins
  • 22Denayer
  • 5van Dijk
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 42McGregorBooked at 75mins
  • 25Johansen
  • 21Mulgrew
  • 16BergetSubstituted forAmbroseat 73'minutes
  • 33KayalSubstituted forBittonat 87'minutes
  • 10StokesSubstituted forGriffithsat 80'minutes


  • 4Ambrose
  • 6Bitton
  • 15Commons
  • 20Pukki
  • 24Zaluska
  • 28Griffiths
  • 53Henderson
Pavel Kralovec

Match Stats

Home TeamNK MariborAway TeamCeltic
Shots on Target

Live Text

Match ends, NK Maribor 1, Celtic 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, NK Maribor 1, Celtic 1.


Mikael Lustig (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Petar Stojanovic.

Attempt blocked. Stefan Johansen (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Leigh Griffiths.

Corner, NK Maribor. Conceded by Efe Ambrose.

Mikael Lustig (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Sintayehu Sallalich (NK Maribor).

Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Celtic).

Sintayehu Sallalich (NK Maribor) wins a free kick on the right wing.

Hand ball by Callum McGregor (Celtic).


Substitution, Celtic. Nir Biton replaces Beram Kayal.

Corner, NK Maribor. Conceded by Callum McGregor.

Attempt blocked. Sintayehu Sallalich (NK Maribor) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Corner, NK Maribor. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.

Corner, NK Maribor. Conceded by Craig Gordon.

Attempt saved. Ales Mertelj (NK Maribor) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the top left corner. Assisted by Agim Ibraimi.


Substitution, NK Maribor. Ales Mertelj replaces Amir Dervisevic.


Substitution, Celtic. Leigh Griffiths replaces Anthony Stokes.

Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Petar Stojanovic (NK Maribor).


Substitution, NK Maribor. Sintayehu Sallalich replaces Damjan Bohar.


Callum McGregor (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Callum McGregor (Celtic).

Agim Ibraimi (NK Maribor) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Jasmin Handanovic.

Attempt saved. Virgil van Dijk (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner. Assisted by Jason Denayer.


Substitution, Celtic. Efe Ambrose replaces Jo Inge Berget.


Substitution, NK Maribor. Jean Philippe Mendy replaces Dare Vrsic.

Jason Denayer (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Agim Ibraimi (NK Maribor).

Attempt missed. Beram Kayal (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Emilio Izaguirre.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Amir Dervisevic.

Jo Inge Berget (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Marko Suler (NK Maribor).

Foul by Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic).

Marcos Tavares (NK Maribor) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Mikael Lustig.

Attempt missed. Anthony Stokes (Celtic) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Emilio Izaguirre.

Attempt blocked. Agim Ibraimi (NK Maribor) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Dare Vrsic.


Scores, Results & Fixtures

Wednesday 20th August 2014

  • NK MariborNK Maribor1CelticCeltic1
  • Aalborg BKAalborg BK1Apoel NicosiaApoel Nicosia1
  • LilleLille0FC PortoFC Porto1
  • Slovan BratislavaSlovan Bratislava1BATE BorisovBATE Borisov1
  • Standard LiegeStandard Liege0Zenit St PetersburgZenit St Petersburg1

Top Stories