Europa League - Group H
Sparta PragueSparta Prague4CelticCeltic1

Sloppy Celtic out of Europa League after 4-1 loss to Sparta Prague

By Andy CampbellBBC Sport Scotland
Sparta Prague v Celtic
Lukas Julis put Sparta Prague in front before half-time and scored five across the two games

Celtic are out of the Europa League with two games to spare after a second successive 4-1 defeat by Sparta Prague heaped more pressure on Neil Lennon.

Odsonne Edouard marked his return to the XI with a stylish opener, but David Hancko exposed poor defending to level.

Lukas Julis added two to his hat-trick in Sparta's Glasgow win and substitute Srdan Plavsic added a late fourth.

Celtic have now taken one point from their four group games after a fourth loss in nine games in all competitions.

Lennon's side - who have won just twice in those nine matches - can now only reach a tally of seven points; a mark which is guaranteed to be beaten by at least two of Lille, AC Milan or Sparta.

Trailing Rangers by 11 points in the Scottish Premiership - albeit with two games in hand - Celtic needed to get back to winning ways to get into some sort of contention in Group H.

The early omens were not good as David Moberg Karlsson flashed wide with a long-range shot that looked like it had the beating of goalkeeper Scott Bain.

Things started looking up for Celtic when Edouard received Callum McGregor's pass, slalomed one way then the other as he advanced towards goal then converted past Florin Nita.

Table

But the Czech side soon levelled from a corner. Scott Brown did not clear his lines, allowing David Pavelka to get away a mis-hit shot, and Hancko buried the ball as he and two others were being played onside by McGregor.

And the Prague side moved into the lead when Borek Dockal's low cross from the right eliminated all four Celtic defenders and Julis forced in at the back post, though the striker did appear to be offside.

Sparta could, and probably should, have added to their lead when Dockal's free-kick was headed on to a post by Ladislav Krejci just before the interval.

An Edouard free-kick early in the second period was touched wide by Nita and Ryan Christie then curled an effort wide for Celtic.

Edouard should have levelled when found by Olivier Ntcham but his tame shot was collected by the keeper.

Tom Rogic, so often a scorer of vital Celtic goals, was sent on in place of Brown for the final 24 minutes but the Australian could not spark a revival, with Julis soon putting the game to bed.

Hatem Elhamed's defensive header was poor and he then missed an interception as Karlsson sped away on the left to cross for Julis to volley past Bain.

And Celtic were found wanting at the back again as Plavsic raced on to another Dockal pass, rounded Bain and finished past McGregor on the goal line.

Man of the match - Lukas Julis

David Moberg Karlsson and Lukas Julis
Julis (right) was Celtic's tormentor in chief once again after his hat-trick in Glasgow

What did we learn?

Celtic restored Elhamed and Christopher Jullien to the right side of their much maligned defence to compliment Kristoffer Ajer and Diego Laxalt.

And the new back four struggled from open play and at set pieces, Sparta taking advantage as they had done when they won 4-1 in Glasgow.

In James Forrest's continued absence, the Celtic attack lacks pace and a goal threat from the right.

Positively for the Scottish champions, Edouard looked much more like the striker that started the season with a hat-trick against Hamilton back in August.

Celtic's problems 'psychological' - Lennon

Match stats

  • Since it was rebranded in 2009-10, Celtic have won just two of their 24 away games in the Europa League (D11 L11).
  • Celtic are yet to win in the Europa League this season (D1 L3), with their winless run in the competition (excluding qualifiers) standing at seven matches (D2 L5).
  • Julis has scored five goals in his last two Europa League games - two more than he netted in his first 19 matches in the competition.
  • Edouard has been directly involved in six goals in his last eight Europa League games (four goals, two assists).
  • The Frenchman has scored in two of his past three away Europa League appearances.

What's next?

Celtic begin their defence of the Scottish League Cup at home to Ross County on Sunday (14:00 GMT) and take on Milan in Italy in the penultimate round of Europa League group fixtures next Thursday (17:55).

Line-ups

Sparta Prague

Formation 3-5-2

  • 1Nita
  • 5Plechaty
  • 8Pavelka
  • 33HanckoSubstituted forSoucekat 67'minutesBooked at 89mins
  • 32Aalen VindheimBooked at 29mins
  • 25TravnikSubstituted forKrejciat 76'minutes
  • 10Dockal
  • 37KrejciBooked at 57mins
  • 15Hanousek
  • 39JulisSubstituted forYankov Minchevat 86'minutes
  • 7Moberg KarlssonSubstituted forPlavsicat 86'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Soucek
  • 9Krejci
  • 11Yankov Minchev
  • 13Lischka
  • 22Plavsic
  • 28Wiesner
  • 29Heca
  • 41Vitík
  • 43Gabriel
  • 51Gelashvili
  • 52Patrak
  • 77Holec

Celtic

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 29Bain
  • 44Elhamed
  • 2Jullien
  • 35Ajer
  • 93Laxalt
  • 8BrownSubstituted forRogicat 66'minutes
  • 42McGregor
  • 17Christie
  • 21Ntcham
  • 27Elyounoussi
  • 22EdouardSubstituted forKlimalaat 82'minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Barkas
  • 3Taylor
  • 4Duffy
  • 6Bitton
  • 10Ajeti
  • 11Klimala
  • 18Rogic
  • 30Frimpong
  • 52Henderson
  • 65Hazard
Referee:
Tobias Stieler

Match Stats

Home TeamSparta PragueAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home48%
Away52%
Shots
Home13
Away8
Shots on Target
Home7
Away4
Corners
Home5
Away6
Fouls
Home14
Away5

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Sparta Prague 4, Celtic 1.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Sparta Prague 4, Celtic 1.

  3. Goal!

    Goal! Sparta Prague 4, Celtic 1. Srdan Plavsic (Sparta Prague) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Borek Dockal following a fast break.

  4. Post update

    Hatem Elhamed (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Ladislav Krejci I (Sparta Prague).

  6. Post update

    Foul by Ladislav Krejci II (Sparta Prague).

  7. Post update

    Ryan Christie (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Booking

    Filip Soucek (Sparta Prague) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

  9. Post update

    Foul by Filip Soucek (Sparta Prague).

  10. Post update

    Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  11. Post update

    Foul by Martin Yankov Minchev (Sparta Prague).

  12. Post update

    Hatem Elhamed (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  13. Post update

    Foul by Diego Laxalt (Celtic).

  14. Post update

    Andreas Aalen Vindheim (Sparta Prague) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Sparta Prague. Srdan Plavsic replaces David Moberg Karlsson.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Sparta Prague. Martin Yankov Minchev replaces Lukas Julis.

  17. Post update

    Foul by Diego Laxalt (Celtic).

  18. Post update

    Borek Dockal (Sparta Prague) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Patryk Klimala replaces Odsonne Edouard.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Sparta Prague. Conceded by Olivier Ntcham.

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Scores, Results & Fixtures

Thursday 26th November 2020

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Roma431091810
2Young Boys42116337
3CFR Cluj411238-54
4CSKA Sofia401306-61

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Arsenal44001221012
2Molde420248-46
3Rapid Vienna42028716
4Dundalk4004512-70

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Slavia Prague43018629
2B Leverkusen430114689
3Nice4103612-63
4Hapoel Be'er Sheva4103610-43

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Rangers42208538
2Benfica422012758
3Lech Poznan410368-23
4Standard Liege410339-63

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Granada431062410
2PSV Eindhoven420279-26
3PAOK Salonika41217525
4Omonia Nicosia401337-41

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Napoli43015239
2Real Sociedad42112117
3AZ Alkmaar42115237
4HNK Rijeka400429-70

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Leicester4310124810
2Sporting Braga42118807
3AEK Athens410359-43
4Zorya Luhansk410359-43

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Lille422010468
2AC Milan42117527
3Sparta Prague42029906
4Celtic4013513-81

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Villarreal4310135810
2Maccabi Tel-Aviv421146-27
3Sivasspor42029906
4FK Qarabag400439-60

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Royal Antwerp43015239
2Tottenham430110289
3LASK420258-36
4Ludogorets4004513-80

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dinamo Zagreb42204048
2Feyenoord412145-15
3RZ Pellets WAC411256-14
4CSKA Moscow403124-23

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Hoffenheim44001311212
2Red Star Belgrade43019459
3Slovan Liberec4103212-103
4KAA Gent400429-70
View full Europa League tables

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