Celtic 0-0 Sion

Celtic   0 - 0   FC Sion

Celtic forward Anthony Stokes

Anthony Stokes goes down in the Sion box and was cautioned for simulation

Celtic endured a frustrating return to European action as they struggled against Swiss side Sion in the first leg of their Europa League qualifier.

An ineffectual strike partnership of Anthony Stokes and Georgious Samaras saw several chances to break the deadlock escape the Glasgow outfit.

Sion ignored warnings from Fifa not to field players they consider ineligible.

Jose Goncalves, Pascal Feindouno, Mario Mutsch and Gabri all took part against the governing body's wishes.

Against that backdrop of controversy, Celtic started brightly, with most of the action in the Sion half for the opening 10 minutes.

Georgios Samaras

Samaras vexed the home crowd before being replaced by Paddy McCourt

The pairing of Samaras and Stokes up front failed to gel, though, with the Greek in particular looking rusty, having not played so far this season.

Sion, meanwhile, set out an ambitious formation, with Guilherme Alfonso and Feindouno up front, and were happy to scrap for chances where they could find them.

Michael Dingsdag had the best of those, but could not convert from his free kick 35 yards out, Samaras proving more useful in his own box as he cleared the shot away.

A rare positive for Celtic was the performance of Cha Du-Ri, the South Korean charging up and down the right-hand side and delivering pinpoint crosses to the strikers.

However, the first half saw just six attempts on target by both sides and those frustrations continued after the restart.

Samaras squandered another chance in the 50th minute, when Cha delivered another perfect ball in from the right, only for the Greek to head over the bar.

Clearly not intimidated by warnings from Fifa and Uefa, Sion coach Laurent Roussey introduced midfielder Mutsch as a replacement for striker Afonso.

Neil Lennon also made changes, replacing the industrious Kris Commons with James Forrest and later brought on Shaun Maloney for Anthony Stokes.

That decision was unpopular with the home crowd, who seemed intent on the withdrawal of Samaras.

However, Lennon was almost proved right seconds later when Maloney earned a free kick after a challenge from Adailton and delivered a near-perfect ball from the set-piece dipping over the Sion wall, Vanins performing heroics to stretch and parry the ball.

Samaras made contact with the rebound but could not find the net.

The home support's nerves were further frayed in the 73rd minute when Sion put the ball in the net.

Feindouno silencing the Celtic support as he put the ball past Fraser Forster and into the net but was judged to be offside in what appeared to be a close call for the Croatian referee.

Sion grew in confidence as the Parkhead crowd grew more impatient, but Celtic continued to create chances.

Charlie Mulgrew provided a superb ball for Scott Brown at the back post with 10 minutes remaining, the Celtic captain's miss typical of a frustrating evening.

Paddy McCourt's introduction at the expense of Samaras gave the Celtic fans a reason to cheer but had no impact on the scoreline.

The introduction of Gabri by Sion took the total of ineligible players to four, suggesting that this tie may yet be decided in the courts, rather than on the pitch.

Match Stats

Shots

14 6

On target

7 3

Corners

8 3

Fouls

15 18

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +4:17 Full time

Full Time The referee brings the game to a close.

90:00 +2:52

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Patrick McCourt by Serey Die. Charlie Mulgrew restarts play with the free kick.

90:00 +1:21

Michael Dingsdag takes the outswinging corner, save by Fraser Forster.

90:00 +1:21 Substitution

Substitution Lacerda Ramos Rodrigo replaces Pascal Feindouno.

89:59

Arnaud Buhler gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Du-Ri Cha. Free kick crossed right-footed by Sung-Yeung Ki from right wing.

87:31

Effort on goal by Mario Mutsch from long range goes harmlessly over the target.

86:31

Sung-Yeung Ki produces a drilled right-footed shot from 12 yards. Brilliant save by Andris Vanins.

85:50

Corner taken by Sung-Yeung Ki.

85:42

Shot from 18 yards from James Forrest. Blocked by Serey Die.

84:20 Substitution

Substitution (FC Sion) makes a substitution, with Garcia Gabri coming on for Goran Obradovic.

84:04

Effort from the edge of the area by James Forrest goes wide of the right-hand upright.

83:36

Shaun Maloney takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, Michael Dingsdag makes a clearance.

82:57 Substitution

Substitution Patrick McCourt replaces Georgios Samaras.

80:14

Scott Brown concedes a free kick for a foul on Pascal Feindouno. Andris Vanins restarts play with the free kick.

79:53

Du-Ri Cha crosses the ball, clearance by Jose Adailton.

79:14

Jose Goncalves fouled by Georgios Samaras, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by Michael Dingsdag, clearance made by Daniel Majstorovic.

78:23

Scott Brown produces a drilled right-footed shot from deep inside the penalty box which goes wide of the left-hand post.

78:13

Mario Mutsch concedes a free kick for a foul on Shaun Maloney. Free kick taken by Shaun Maloney.

77:36

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Michael Dingsdag, save by Fraser Forster.

76:28

Free kick awarded for a foul by Daniel Majstorovic on Pascal Feindouno. Shot on goal comes in from Giovanni Sio from the free kick, save by Fraser Forster.

74:56

Free kick awarded for a foul by Giovanni Sio on Joe Ledley. Direct free kick taken by Charlie Mulgrew.

72:54

Sung-Yeung Ki takes the outswinging corner, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Joe Ledley goes harmlessly over the crossbar.

72:09

The assistant referee flags for offside against Shaun Maloney. Jose Adailton takes the free kick.

70:32

Corner from left by-line taken by Sung-Yeung Ki.

68:29

Jose Adailton gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Shaun Maloney. Shot comes in from Shaun Maloney from the free kick, save by Andris Vanins.

67:28

Sung-Yeung Ki takes the direct free kick.

67:28 Substitution

Substitution Shaun Maloney on for Anthony Stokes.

67:28

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Charlie Mulgrew by Serey Die.

63:09

Outswinging corner taken right-footed by Sung-Yeung Ki from the right by-line, Michael Dingsdag makes a clearance.

61:24 Booking

Booking Jose Adailton receives a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.

59:30

Jose Adailton challenges Fraser Forster unfairly and gives away a free kick. Fraser Forster takes the direct free kick.

58:41

Pascal Feindouno fouled by Georgios Samaras, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed left-footed by Michael Dingsdag from right channel, Fraser Forster makes a save.

56:31

Free kick awarded for a foul by Mario Mutsch on Scott Brown. Daniel Majstorovic takes the direct free kick.

55:19 Substitution

Substitution James Forrest joins the action as a substitute, replacing Kris Commons.

54:16

Charlie Mulgrew gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Mario Mutsch. Andris Vanins takes the direct free kick.

53:45

Giovanni Sio is penalised for a handball. Daniel Majstorovic restarts play with the free kick.

52:57

The ball is crossed by Kris Commons.

52:38

Unfair challenge on Kris Commons by Michael Dingsdag results in a free kick. Scott Brown takes the direct free kick.

51:06

Goran Obradovic fouled by Scott Brown, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick taken by Pascal Feindouno.

49:30 Substitution

Substitution Guilherme Afonso goes off and Mario Mutsch comes on.

49:14

Effort on goal by Georgios Samaras from deep inside the area goes harmlessly over the bar.

48:39

A cross is delivered by Anthony Stokes, clearance made by Michael Dingsdag.

48:04

Sung-Yeung Ki decides to take the corner short.

48:00

Charlie Mulgrew crosses the ball, Arnaud Buhler manages to make a clearance.

47:33

Georgios Samaras fouled by Vilmos Vanczak, the ref awards a free kick. Sung-Yeung Ki takes the free kick.

46:59

Shot on goal by Kris Commons from just inside the area goes over the target.

45:01

The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.

45:00 +1:05 Half time

Half Time The ref blows to end the first period.

45:00 +0:45

Du-Ri Cha delivers the ball, Kris Commons takes a shot. Fantastic save by Andris Vanins.

44:43

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Guilherme Afonso by Daniel Majstorovic. Goran Obradovic restarts play with the free kick.

44:02

Pascal Feindouno concedes a free kick for a foul on Scott Brown. Direct free kick taken by Scott Brown.

42:48

Andris Vanins takes the free kick.

42:48 Booking

Booking Mark Wilson is booked.

42:38

Unfair challenge on Serey Die by Mark Wilson results in a free kick.

41:49

Goran Obradovic concedes a free kick for a foul on Georgios Samaras. Daniel Majstorovic takes the direct free kick.

40:31

Effort from just outside the area by Serey Die goes over the bar.

39:55

Corner taken by Pascal Feindouno, clearance made by Daniel Majstorovic.

39:15

Scott Brown concedes a free kick for a foul on Guilherme Afonso. Goran Obradovic crosses the ball in from the free kick, Charlie Mulgrew makes a clearance.

37:48

Daniel Majstorovic concedes a free kick for a foul on Guilherme Afonso. Shot comes in from Goran Obradovic from the free kick.

37:23

Direct free kick taken by Andris Vanins.

36:51 Booking

Booking Anthony Stokes is shown a yellow card.

36:03

Anthony Stokes sends in a cross, save made by Andris Vanins.

34:16

Shot from 20 yards by Charlie Mulgrew. Michael Dingsdag gets a block in.

33:48

Inswinging corner taken by Kris Commons from the right by-line played to the near post, Jose Adailton manages to make a clearance.

32:50

Charlie Mulgrew produces a shot on goal direct from the free kick, save by Andris Vanins.

32:50 Booking

Booking Michael Dingsdag goes into the referee's book.

32:35

Michael Dingsdag challenges Kris Commons unfairly and gives away a free kick.

31:23

Kris Commons produces a left-footed effort from long distance that goes harmlessly over the bar.

30:51

Anthony Stokes crosses the ball, clearance by Jose Adailton.

28:51

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Du-Ri Cha by Pascal Feindouno. Kris Commons restarts play with the free kick.

27:05

Mark Wilson crosses the ball, clearance by Jose Adailton.

26:05

Kris Commons takes the inswinging corner, Jose Adailton makes a clearance.

25:40

Free kick awarded for a foul by Goran Obradovic on Scott Brown. Scott Brown restarts play with the free kick.

24:16

Charlie Mulgrew concedes a free kick for a foul on Guilherme Afonso. Direct effort from the free kick comes in from Michael Dingsdag.

23:13

Foul by Goran Obradovic on Sung-Yeung Ki, free kick awarded. Free kick crossed by Sung-Yeung Ki.

22:14

Georgios Samaras has a headed effort at goal from close range which goes wide left of the target.

21:13

Giovanni Sio gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Daniel Majstorovic. Fraser Forster restarts play with the free kick.

19:23

Georgios Samaras is ruled offside. Andris Vanins restarts play with the free kick.

17:33

Michael Dingsdag has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand upright.

17:12

Foul by Scott Brown on Michael Dingsdag, free kick awarded. Michael Dingsdag delivers the ball from the free kick left-footed from left channel, Georgios Samaras manages to make a clearance.

16:18

Anthony Stokes sends in a cross.

15:30

Pascal Feindouno gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Du-Ri Cha. Direct free kick taken by Fraser Forster.

13:23

Foul by Joe Ledley on Goran Obradovic, free kick awarded. Jose Adailton takes the direct free kick.

10:39

Mark Wilson challenges Pascal Feindouno unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Michael Dingsdag.

3:03

Georgios Samaras challenges Vilmos Vanczak unfairly and gives away a free kick. Michael Dingsdag takes the direct free kick.

0:44

The ball is crossed by Kris Commons, clearance by Jose Adailton.

0:30

Georgios Samaras produces a drilled right-footed shot from 20 yards. Jose Adailton gets a block in.

0:00

The game gets underway.

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