By Alasdair Lamont on the Mestalla
Celtic’s Europa League campaign came to an pause on the final-32 stage for the 2d successive season as they bowed out to Valencia.
Their assignment in the 2d leg consistently seemed plucky, given they had never overturned a two-aim deficit away from dwelling, nor had they won in Spain.
A creditable first-half of performance used to be marred by Jeremy Toljan’s dismissal for twice pulling wait on Goncalo Guedes.
And Celtic in the end conceded when Kevin Gameiro compelled dwelling from terminate differ.
Whereas the Glasgow aspect were passive final week at Celtic Park, they were a long way extra aggressive on the Mestalla against their La Liga hosts.
Jonny Hayes shot over for the company, while Kristoffer Ajer moreover went terminate with the sport unruffled goalless.
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Hopes aged with Toljan exit
It’d be over-stretching it to counsel Toljan’s crimson card used to be a pivotal point in the tie, with Valencia effectively in articulate following their 2-0 recall at Celtic Park final week.
But Celtic had as a minimum given them food for thought, with a 3-4-3 formation offering an unbelievable extra right thought and their spend of the ball a long way improved.
Ajer had a aim-sure shot blocked and Jozo Simunovic’s header used to be conveniently saved as Celtic looked for the opening aim that would possibly per chance presumably carry the tie alive. Ajer would moreover bullet a wonderful header over the bar later in the match with the sport unruffled goalless.
But their faint hopes of restoration vanished as Toljan used to be punished twice in rapid succession for dragging Guedes down after allowing him to fetch aim-aspect.
That induced Valencia to waken from their slumbers and Scott Bain saved brilliantly twice sooner than half of-time to retain out a Daniel Parejo shot that had deflected off Ryan Christie after which to tip away Santi Mina’s rating-sure effort.
He and the relaxation of the Celtic defence stood company for 25 minutes of the 2d half of in the face of growing force sooner than in the end buckling.
Guedes’ fabulous diagonal ball from the left used to be headed into the six-yard field by the evolved elephantine-wait on Daniel Wass and Gameiro – handiest exact on the self-discipline – bundled it by way of the legs of Bain alongside with his knee.
The Celtic keeper used to be called upon twice extra sooner than the pause but that used to be as harmful because it got for Celtic, though the major wounds were inflicted in Glasgow per week previously.
Tangible growth in Europe no closer – diagnosis
Honest as overcoming Zenit St Peterburg final season proved a bridge too a long way for Brendan Rodgers’ aspect, the group sitting ninth in La Liga were moreover too exact for the Scottish champions.
Whereas they continue to sweep away all sooner than them domestically – with a treble treble unruffled a likelihood – tangible growth on the European front looks to be no closer.
Completely, there is a financial disparity between Zenit, Valencia and Celtic, but the identical used to be steady when each and every Glasgow golf equipment reached the final of the Uefa Cup.
Every Martin O’Neill and Walter Smith realized strategies to conquer teams adore Liverpool and Werder Bremen, outdoing them tactically, maximising the undoubted talent of their squads.
Celtic, in three seasons beneath Rodgers, have but to voice a extremely mighty scalp.
- Celtic haven’t won a knockout away sport in Europe since beating Boavista 1-0 in April 2003, shedding eight of their 9 games since. They’ve moreover failed to rating on all 9 instances
- They’ve never won away from dwelling against a Spanish aspect (P18 W0 D3 L15), shedding to Valencia three instances
- Celtic have failed to rating in consecutive European games for the major time since September 2016
- Jeremy Toljan used to be the 2d Celtic player to receive a crimson card on this season’s Europa League after James Forrest’s sending off against Crimson Bull Salzburg in October