• Champions League

Celtic on brink of Champions League exit

ESPN staff
July 30, 2014
Celtic coach Ronny Deila looks on from the sidelines as Celtic suffer a 4-1 defeat at Legia Warsaw © AP

Celtic's Champions League hopes are hanging by a thread after a crushing 4-1 defeat at Legia Warsaw in the first leg of their third-round qualifying tie.

Callum McGregor gave the visitors the lead in the seventh minute at the Pepsi Arena with a strike from outside the penalty area. It was the midfielder's second European goal in three games, and that looked like being the early boost that would propel the Scottish Premier League champions on.

However, Legia striker Miroslav Radovic levelled three minutes later and then scored another before the break, with Celtic defender Efe Ambrose red-carded a minute from the interval for a last-man challenge on Michal Kucharczyk.

In the second half, Celtic were let off the hook when Legia captain Ivica Vrdoljak missed the target with a penalty, after captain Charlie Mulgrew was adjudged to have fouled Ondrej Duda inside the box.

But in the 84th minute, Michal Zyro headed in number three before Mulgrew conceded another penalty with a trip on substitute Jakub Kosecki, this time Fraser Forster saving Vrdoljak's spot-kick.

There was another sting in the dying seconds, however, when Kosecki slotted in a pass from Lukasz Broz to stretch Legia's lead ahead of next week's return game at Murrayfield in Edinburgh - used as Celtic Park is still out of commission due to the Commonwealth Games.

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