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Celtic Reduced To Nine-Men In Controversial Second Half v Feyenoord

Celtic Reduced To Nine-Men In Controversial Second Half v Feyenoord
By Eoin Harrington Updated
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It was a Champions League opener to forget for Celtic on Tuesday night, as they had two players sent off in a defeat to Dutch champions Feyenoord at De Kuip.

The Scottish and Dutch champions met on opening night, in a tricky group which also contains Lazio and Atletico Madrid.

With the departure of Ange Postecoglou as manager defining Celtic's summer, the returning Brendan Rodgers will have hoped for a composed display from his side to get their group campaign underway and, for most of the first-half, that was what he got.

Though Celtic struggled to create chances, they were largely solid in defence, right up until first-half injury time, when they would frustratingly concede a poor and unnecessary free-kick to go in 1-0 down at the break. Joe Hart in the Celtic goal would certainly have hoped to do better with the effort from Calvin Stengs.


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When the sides returned for the second-half, things began to fall apart for the Hoops, as they fell foul of a contentious refereeing call before losing the head in a chaotic 45 minutes.

Celtic crumble in contentious second half in Rotterdam

There was controversy early in the second-half in Rotterdam, as Celtic centre-back Gustaf Lagerbielke was send off for a second booking after taking down Yankuba Minteh in the penalty area, leading to a spot kick for Feyenoord.


Replays showed that Lagerbielke had lost his balance, and his forearm had swung into Minteh's face as the two grappled for the ball. Though the penalty may have been inevitable, it certainly seemed like a harsh call to send the Swedish defender off for such a 50-50 call.



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Ex-Celtic manager Neil Lennon was certainly not impressed with the decision, calling it a "shocking call" on commentary duties for Sky Sports News.

VAR would not intervene, and the penalty and red card decisions were upheld - though Joe Hart did somewhat vindicate himself for his first-half error by saving the penalty and keeping the margin to one goal.

Just four minutes later, however, a far more avoidable red card saw Celtic reduced to nine men in disappointing fashion.


20-year-old substitute Odin Thiago Holm flew in with a studs up challenge just ten minutes after being introduced off the bench, and was rightly sent off by referee Irfan Peljto for the offence, leaving Celtic fighting an almighty uphill battle for the final 20 minutes.

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If the first call had been harsh, the second was a slam dunk, and Celtic would be completely penned in for the remainder of the second-half.

Feyenoord added a second through Alireza Jahanbakhsh, and had two further goals disallowed as Celtic attempted to keep the scoreline to a respectable margin.

It was a Champions League debut to forget for Irishman Liam Scales, and Celtic now face a huge task if they are to get anything out of this group, with Holm and Lagerbielke both missing upcoming group games.

SEE ALSO: The Eclectic Bunch Of Irish Players To Play In The Champions League Since 2010

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