Champions League - Qualifying - Play-off - 1st Leg
CelticCeltic3Malmö FFMalmö FF2
By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland at Celtic Park
Jo Inge Berget scores for Malmo against Celtic
Jo Inge Berget's late second goal changed the complexion of the tie

A late Jo Inge Berget strike left Celtic's Champions League play-off with Malmo precariously balanced after the first leg of their tie.

A double from Leigh Griffiths and Nir Bitton's header looked like giving Celtic a foothold in the group stage.

Berget - brought to Celtic by Ronny Deila on loan last summer - had already struck one away goal to make it 2-1.

But his second, with virtually the last kick of the ball deep in stoppage time, gave the Swedes a huge boost.

Celtic will probably have to avoid defeat in Sweden if they are to return to the group stage of European football's elite competition.

A year ago they had slumped out of the Champions League during the play-off stage - and bizarrely did so not once but twice.

They were given a reprieve after defeat by Legia Warsaw, who fielded an ineligible player, but Deila's Celtic could not find a way past Maribor.

Nir Bitton scores for Celtic against Malmo
Bitton headed home from Stefan Johansen's corner to put Celtic two up

Twelve months on they look a different beast altogether, more in tune with their manager's desires and demands.

Certainly they began the match with an intensity that Malmo found impossible to live with, hounding their opponents and driven on by a raucous support that greeted Griffiths's opening goal with a huge roar.

Stuart Armstrong left Malmo defenders in his wake as he drove in from the left to lay the ball off for Stefan Johansen.

The Norwegian's first-time ball picked out the run of Griffiths perfectly and the striker coolly side-footed past the exposed Johan Wiland.

It was the first time Griffiths had been preferred in attack to Nadir Ciftci in the Champions League this season and it looked like the right call by Deila.

The furious tempo continued and when Johansen swung in a pinpoint corner for Bitton to head in from close range, Celtic looked as though they could kill off the tie in the first half.

They might have done so but Johansen fired straight at the keeper, Griffiths found the side-netting and Armstrong arrowed a shot a foot or so away from the top corner.

Leigh Griffiths celebrates after scoring for Celtic against Malmo
Griffiths marked his first European start of the season with two goals

But scattered among those efforts, occasional lapses in concentration crept in, with Craig Gordon required to make an excellent one-handed stop to deny Vladimir Rodic.

Celtic failed to heed the warning though, and Berget punished a stray Scott Brown header by thundering a shot past Gordon from a tight angle.

The winger had previously been just as peripheral to most of the evening's action as he had during his six months as a Celtic player.

But just as Berget and Malmo grew in confidence, they were sucker-punched by a second from Griffiths.

Anton Tinnerholm failed to deal with a deep cross, knocking it into the air, allowing the stronger and more forceful Griffiths to climb above him to loop a header over Wiland and in off the far post.

That was not the end to the drama, though, as Berget pounced on a loose ball six yards out to hammer high into the net - ensuring the evening ended on a low for Celtic and setting up a tense evening in Malmo on Tuesday.

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 1Gordon
  • 23LustigSubstituted forAmbroseat 80'minutes
  • 20Boyata
  • 5van Dijk
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 49Forrest
  • 8BrownBooked at 75mins
  • 6Bitton
  • 14ArmstrongSubstituted forMackay-Stevenat 62'minutes
  • 25JohansenBooked at 90mins
  • 9GriffithsSubstituted forCiftciat 74'minutesBooked at 90mins

Substitutes

  • 4Ambrose
  • 7Ciftci
  • 15Commons
  • 16Mackay-Steven
  • 18Rogic
  • 21Mulgrew
  • 26Bailly

Malmö FF

  • 1Wiland
  • 3TinnerholmBooked at 68mins
  • 21Arnason
  • 17Bengtsson
  • 13YotúnBooked at 90mins
  • 20Rodic
  • 6Lewicki
  • 5RakipBooked at 75minsSubstituted forSanaat 81'minutes
  • 23Berget
  • 19Wolff EikremSubstituted forCarvalho da Silvaat 72'minutes
  • 28Djurdjic

Substitutes

  • 2Konate
  • 10Molins
  • 11Mehmeti
  • 22Sana
  • 25Carvalho da Silva
  • 26Vindheim
  • 29Andersson
Referee:
Dr. Felix Brych

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamMalmö FF
Possession
Home59%
Away41%
Shots
Home7
Away10
Shots on Target
Home4
Away4
Corners
Home6
Away4
Fouls
Home14
Away13

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 3, Malmö FF 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 3, Malmö FF 2.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Celtic 3, Malmö FF 2. Jo Inge Berget (Malmö FF) right footed shot from very close range to the top right corner. Assisted by Felipe Carvalho with a headed pass following a corner.

  4. Booking

    Stefan Johansen (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

  5. Booking

    Yoshimar Yotún (Malmö FF) is shown the yellow card.

  6. Post update

    Corner, Malmö FF. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.

  7. Post update

    Craig Gordon (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Kári Arnason (Malmö FF).

  9. Booking

    Nadir Ciftci (Celtic) is shown the yellow card.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Celtic).

  11. Post update

    Vladimir Rodic (Malmö FF) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  12. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Yoshimar Yotún (Malmö FF) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  13. Post update

    Delay over. They are ready to continue.

  14. Post update

    Delay in match Nir Bitton (Celtic) because of an injury.

  15. Post update

    James Forrest (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Post update

    Foul by Yoshimar Yotún (Malmö FF).

  17. Post update

    Gary Mackay-Steven (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Vladimir Rodic (Malmö FF).

  19. Post update

    Attempt missed. Nikola Djurdjic (Malmö FF) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Stefan Johansen (Celtic).