Celtic lost 2-0 away in Rome to Lazio. The Hoops were in the match for a long time before Ciro Immobile came off the bench to score a brace and put the game to bed. The result means that not only are Brendan Rodgers’ side out of the Champions League following the group stages but they have no chance of dropping down to the Europa League either.
It has been another group stage filled with regrets for Celtic. They could have and should have won the reverse fixture against Lazio at Parkhead, but ended up losing 2-1. And they might have been able to get a result in Rome as well if they had been clinical in front of goal.
Overall, Celtic are going out of Europe because they deserve to. It just does not feel like this team has the maturity at the moment to convert good performances into positive results. It was the story last season as well and if anything, it feels like they have taken a step back since then.
Chris Sutton was quite clear about his feelings on Celtic’s group stage campaign after the loss to Lazio. The Englishman tweeted out:
Sutton publicly criticises Celtic after loss to Lazio
So, this was another disappointing season for Celtic in Europe. Unfortunately, fans might have gotten used to it by now.
The Hoops simply have not been able to deliver on the continental stage for a long time now. It remains to be seen if there is any positive movement next season.
There was a lot of talk about improving in Europe when Rodgers was brought back as manager in the summer to replace Ange Postecoglou. Unfortunately, we have not seen any improvement this time around, either on the pitch or in the ambition shown in the transfer market. Let’s hope that changes soon.