Photos: Celtic 2-1 Braga, Champions League – Well That Didn’t Last Long

Ollie Irish

5th, August 2010


By Ollie Irish


Picture 1 of 17

Celtic manager Neil Lennon during the Champions League, third qualifying round, second leg at Celtic Park, Glasgow.

After the spirit-crushing 3-0 defeat at Braga in the first leg, Celtic’s Champions League adventure was over almost before it kicked off. And when Braga’s Paulo Cesar made it 4-0 on aggregate with a header midway through the first half, the game really was up for Neil Lennon’s side.

The Hoops battled gamely after the break though, and scored through Gary Hooper and new signing Efrain Juarez – one of the main positives for the SPL club on a frustrating night – to at least boost morale.

Lennon was quick to put a coat of gloss on a very disappointing result:

“Overall, I’m delighted with the performance and intensity and all the things you ask for – commitment and passion,” Celtic’s boss said.

“The pace we played at and the passing was very pleasing.

“At half-time we just asked the players to win the game and I thought we deserved to win.”

Celtic now drop down into the Europa League qualifying section, which is much more their level at the moment. Braga look a tidy, skilful side and they will test better teams than Celtic.

Overall, it’s more proof of how Scottish football has fallen behind leagues such as Portugal’s. Celtic dont’ meet teams of the calibre of Braga often enough in the SPL. So it’s no big shock that they were caught cold.

Posted in Champions League, Photos, Scottish football

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  1. Tinez says:

    Celtic and Rangers need to leave the SPL as soon as possible. It’s a sinking ship that gets further and further into the water every season. If they don’t get a transfer to the Premier League within 5 years, they will fade from existence.

  2. PirateBhoy says:

    Celtic need a born-winner captain if they are ever to succeed..And not playing ur two most prized players from past few seasons will get you nowhere.. Profits before results from the board

  3. English Premier League says:

    I understand the predicament of Celtic and Rangers but they could not just expect a transfer to the English Premier League.
    I am not trying to create a problem between the Scottish and English but our two footballing nations have evolved differently with the English Premier League becoming cash rich and the Scottish Premier League skint.
    For a start, the English Premier League teams from the bottom to the top can afford more expensive players than you. It is a fact that you have attracted good players at a cheap price but only due to the fact that both of your teams were almost able to gain Champions League qualification year on year.
    If Celtic and Rangers were to join the English League, it would almost certainly destroy Scottish football, as the rest of the teams would lose revenue immediately and it would force them to close. Or would they all want to come?
    Then there would be the problem of integrating the Scottish teams into the English league, no disrespect but you could hardly expect the English clubs to enjoy you taking there places or allow you to compete in a higher level league than your own just because you are Celtic and Rangers the Scottish Premier League Champions (as I said no disrespect intended).
    5 years ago you may have been able to compete on the money side but now you cannot compete even on the footballing side and in 5 years time you may only be able to compete on the history side, its sad but unfortunately that is the way football clubs are going.
    We also have some Welsh clubs within the English leagues, they did not get a gold card to the top divisions and worked their way up, it is a fair way of doing things – try applying for the NPL divisions and (like every other team) work your way up.
    TBH why not ask the Welsh and Irish leagues whether you can amalgamate together and make a league with as many teams and Divisions as the English League, that would be a more realistic option, with a EPL champions against your PL Champions game at the end of each season (as a cash generator).

  4. Tinez says:

    I agree with the belief that they couldn’t simply transfer into the premier league. Personally, if it was legal, I think Celtic (and Rangers) should have entered a team into the non-league system and gradually brought it through to the higher divisions. As soon as they were able to transfer their whole team over, withdraw from the Scots league and exist only in the English system.

    I also recognise that it would destroy Scottish football if they left. Scottish football is already destroyed, like I’ve said, it’s a sinking ship and, whether or not Celtic and Rangers leave, it is heading inexorably towards Irish league-like status. Dare I say that the old firm shouldn’t be limited to a fading league where they are the only teams propping it up.

  5. Tinez says:

    In regards to all the Scottish teams coming to the English system. In a few years, they might anyway.

  6. English Premier League says:

    There is another issue with joining the EPL and that would be losing the Scottish identity of the clubs, I know you have a few foreign players within your clubs but the main core of your teams has always been Scottish, something we EPL clubs have lost with so many foreigners in the game.
    I for one, dearly loved the old home nations internationals as they grew national pride within all involved. Whilst watching Scotland now playing international football matches, we English see the passion that is sadly lacking in our players (or prima donna’s) brought about by our money mad home grown players.
    I am also aware that both sets of fans may also dislike Scottish clubs playing in the English leagues, we all know how much rivalry still exists throughout the British Empire (if you can still call it that). Hooliganism has, for the most part, been eradicated but I fear that it would rear its ugly head again as both club and national pride would be added to the mix.
    I sincerely hope that a big cash influx can be attained by the Scottish FA and your league can continue, however you are right that they may be in the English system in a few years anyway, if things continue as they are.

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