Europa League - Group A
CelticCeltic1MoldeMolde2

Celtic 1-2 Molde

By Alasdair LamontBBC Scotland at Celtic Park
40-year-old Hestad became the oldest scorer in the history of the Europa League
40-year-old Hestad became the oldest scorer in the history of the Europa League

Celtic's defensive frailties were exposed again as their chances of Europa League progress were severely dented by a home defeat by Molde.

First-half goals by Mohamed Elyounoussi and captain Daniel Hestad did the damage as Molde reached the last 32.

Kris Commons had briefly drawn Celtic level but Ronny Deila's side could not muster a second goal and had midfielder Nir Bitton sent off on 75 minutes.

Celtic are bottom of Group A, but two wins will see them through.

They face Ajax at home on 26 November before travelling to Turkey to face Fenerbahce on 10 December.

Case for the defence

The departure of the injured Jozo Simunovic after only nine minutes did nothing to aid Celtic's hopes of keeping the Norwegians out and his replacement, Tyler Blackett, was involved in the concession of the opening goal.

His headed half-clearance was chested down by Elyounoussi and with no pressure applied to the winger, he was able to let it bounce before thumping it past a static Craig Gordon.

Molde's second was even poorer from Celtic's perspective.

Elyounoussi outmuscled Tom Rogic almost on the byeline, and when his cross arrived at the back post, Hestad showed greater desire than Blackett to stab the ball over the line, becoming the oldest player to score in a Europa League tie, at the age of 40.

Mohamed Elyounoussi opened the scoring with a wonderful volley
Mohamed Elyounoussi opened the scoring with a wonderful volley

Blackett's ignominy was complete when he was taken off to be replaced by Nadir Ciftci, and though Bitton slipped into central defence to replace him, he was soon off as well, having hauled down Ola Kamara as he burst through on goal.

Pressure back on Deila

Celtic's response to their 3-1 defeat in Norway two weeks ago had been impressive, as they steamrollered Dundee United, Hearts and Aberdeen.

That had alleviated much of the criticism that had come Deila's way, but despite his recent impassioned defence of the job he is doing, it is sure to mount again.

The Celtic manager stresses he has the backing of both chief executive Peter Lawwell and major shareholder Dermot Desmond.

Commons diverted Bitton's shot into the net for the leveller
Commons diverted Bitton's shot into the net for the leveller

Both men have set the parameters by which Deila will be judged and imposed a stricter budget with which to impose his vision, yet neither could have lowered their expectations to accommodate such under-achievement in Europe.

Unlucky Celtic?

The result might have been very different had either of Celtic's early strikes counted, but marginal offside decisions meant Bitton and Leigh Griffiths were both left disappointed.

They did haul themselves back into the match when Commons redirected Bitton's half-hit volley to wrong-foot Ethan Horvath.

And the keeper denied them a second equaliser with two outstanding saves from headers by Mikael Lustig and Bitton, while the usually deadly Griffiths volleyed millimetres wide.

Nonetheless, Molde watched a Joona Toivio free-kick whistle by the post and an outstanding Kamara effort from outside the box rattled the bar, so the Norwegians' victory was scarcely a fluke.

This was simply another lacklustre European performance by a Celtic team capable of so much better.

Line-ups

Celtic

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Gordon
  • 23LustigBooked at 30mins
  • 20Boyata
  • 5SimunovicSubstituted forBlackettat 9'minutesSubstituted forCiftciat 69'minutes
  • 63Tierney
  • 6BittonBooked at 76mins
  • 25JohansenBooked at 66mins
  • 15CommonsSubstituted forForrestat 45'minutes
  • 18Rogic
  • 14Armstrong
  • 9Griffiths

Substitutes

  • 2Blackett
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 4Ambrose
  • 7Ciftci
  • 16Mackay-Steven
  • 26Bailly
  • 49Forrest

Molde

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Horvath
  • 14LinnesBooked at 38mins
  • 5Toivio
  • 25Forren
  • 23Rindaroy
  • 16HussainSubstituted forGabrielsenat 90+5'minutes
  • 6Hestad
  • 7Singh
  • 9MoströmSubstituted forHestadat 62'minutes
  • 20HoilandSubstituted forKamaraat 45'minutes
  • 24Elyounoussi

Substitutes

  • 2Semb Berge
  • 4Gabrielsen
  • 11Kamara
  • 15Flo
  • 19Hestad
  • 21Pinto Moraes Junior
  • 34da Silva
Referee:
Slavko Vincic
Attendance:
37,071

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamMolde
Possession
Home52%
Away48%
Shots
Home16
Away9
Shots on Target
Home8
Away2
Corners
Home6
Away7
Fouls
Home13
Away10

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 1, Molde 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 1, Molde 2.

  3. Substitution

    Substitution, Molde. Ruben Gabrielsen replaces Etzaz Hussain.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Mikael Lustig (Celtic).

  5. Post update

    Ethan Horvath (Molde) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Nadir Ciftci (Celtic).

  7. Post update

    Eirik Hestad (Molde) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Kieran Tierney (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Ola Kamara (Molde).

  10. Post update

    Foul by Mikael Lustig (Celtic).

  11. Post update

    Ola Kamara (Molde) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Dedryck Boyata (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Ola Kamara (Molde).

  14. Post update

    Ola Kamara (Molde) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Knut Olav Rindaroy.

  15. Post update

    Offside, Celtic. Craig Gordon tries a through ball, but Leigh Griffiths is caught offside.

  16. Post update

    Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Joona Toivio (Molde).

  18. Post update

    Joona Toivio (Molde) hits the left post with a right footed shot from outside the box from a direct free kick.

  19. Dismissal

    Nir Bitton (Celtic) is shown the red card.

  20. Post update

    Foul by Nir Bitton (Celtic).

Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 5th November 2015

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Molde431094510
2Fenerbahçe412145-15
3Ajax403134-13
4Celtic402269-32

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Sion42205328
2Liverpool41304316
3Bordeaux403123-13
4Rubin Kazan402224-22

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1B Dortmund4310103710
2FK Krasnodar42115417
3PAOK Salonika403123-13
4FK Qabala401329-71

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Napoli44001611512
2FC Midtjylland4202510-56
3Club Bruges411239-64
4Legia Warsaw401315-41

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rapid Vienna440084412
2Villarreal43018359
3Viktoria Plzen410356-13
4Dinamo Minsk400419-80

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sporting Braga43015329
2Slovan Liberec42113217
3Marseille42026426
4FC Groningen401316-51

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Lazio431094510
2Saint-Étienne42118537
3Dnipropetrovsk411225-34
4Rosenborg401338-51

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Lokomotiv Moscow42207348
2Besiktas41304316
3Sporting411278-14
4Skenderbeu410348-43

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1FC Basel43017349
2Fiorentina42028446
3Lech Poznan411225-34
4Belenenses411227-54

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Tottenham42117527
2Monaco41304316
3FK Qarabag411235-24
4Anderlecht411245-14

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Schalke422010378
2Sparta Prague41306426
3Asteras Tripolis411247-34
4Apoel Nicosia410328-63

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Ath Bilbao430111479
2Partizan Belgrade4202710-36
3Augsburg42027706
4AZ Alkmaar410359-43
View full Europa League tables

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