It was a game that almost had it all – a good goal, brilliant football and promising performances all over the pitch. Perhaps, the only thing missing was a Celtic win.
After a slow start, the Hoops appeared to find their rhythm and were putting in a brilliant performance in the first half. A goal from Liel Abada saw them take the lead in a game that they were very much controlling at that point of time.
But then, Nir Bitton’s red card turned the momentum around. And although FC Midtjylland’s Anders Dreyer was sent off in the second half, the visitors managed to grab a 1-1 draw in a game in which they had only one shot on target.
The goal was conceded directly from a free kick. Vasilis Barkas should have done better as the ball went past him and found the back of the net. And while the Hoops had some good moments after that as well, they could not find the second goal and the game ended in a draw.
3 things we learned from Celtic 1-1 FC Midtjylland
Here are three things we learned as the first leg of the second round UEFA Champions League qualifier between Celtic and FC Midtjylland ended in a 1-1 draw:
Liel Abada might be an incredible signing
What a performance from the 19-year-old on his competitive debut for Celtic. Yes, he scored but it was not just the goal that made his display this impressive.
He gave the FC Midtjylland players troubles whenever he got on the ball and put in a brilliant cross as well, which should have been scored. His brilliant positioning for the goal was impressive as well for a player as young as him.
He was unlucky to have to come off in the first half itself after Bitton was sent off but overall, it was a brilliant performance from the youngster. And if this is just the beginning, we can’t wait to see how good he ends up becoming.
Celtic need to sign a goalkeeper this summer
Vasilis Barkas had impressed in pre-season and there was a feeling that if he could impress in the first few competitive games of the season, the club might not even need to sign a goalkeeper this summer.
The Greek international failed to take his chance against FC Midtjylland though. His distribution from the back looked shaky and then, he should have done much better on the goal that he conceded directly from a free kick from what was a very tight angle. Now, you have to feel that the Hoops might need to bring in a new goalkeeper this summer, as soon as possible.
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The Hoops need to strengthen at the back
Defence has been a worry for the club for a while now, and it looks like they will need to make new signings all over the backline this summer.
The Hoops do not possess a lot of depth at either right-back or left-back at the moment and neither Anthony Ralston or Greg Taylor were very impressive on the day. And the club need more options at centre-back as well.
Nir Bitton, who was sent off in the first-half itself, is not a natural centre-back. And while Dane Murray looked solid after coming on, the Hoops need to make additions at the heart of their defence, especially with Kristoffer Ajer looking set to depart this summer.