Celtic vs Maribor Champions League match report: Hoops crash out of Europe... again

Celtic 0 Maribor 1 (Maribor win 2-1 on aggregate)

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The Independent Football

Celtic were dramatically knocked out of the Champions League for the second time this season with a play-off defeat to Maribor taking the visitors through 2-1 on aggregate.

The Hoops were beaten 6-1 on aggregate by Legia Warsaw in the third qualifier but were reinstated after the Polish club were effectively thrown out by Uefa for fielding a player who should have been suspended in the second leg at Murrayfield.

Confident following their 1-1 draw in Slovenia last week, the Scottish champions were booed off at half-time following 45 minutes of struggle.

The introduction of Kris Commons at the start of the second half for Beram Kayal saw a vast improvement but Maribor’s captain, Marcos Tavares, grabbed the crucial goal in the 75th minute, costing the Glasgow club around £20m in revenue but much more in reputation as the spotlight falls on manager Ronny Deila.

Commons had the crowd on their feet in the 65th minute with a left-footed drive from 30 yards which just cleared the bar. However, Celtic Park was stunned when Maribor took the lead, the Slovenian side capitalising on Celtic’s inability to clear their penalty area when Tavares’ shot appeared to take a deflection before looping over goalkeeper Craig Gordon and into the net.

In the desperate last stages Efe Ambrose headed an Anthony Stokes free-kick past the near post, then Tavares blasted over from 12 yards when he ought to have scored.

Celtic will go into the draw for the Europa League – but that will be scant consolation for the angry fans who made their feelings known at the final whistle.

Celtic Gordon; Lustig (Boerrigter, 72), Ambrose, Van Dijk, Izaguirre, McGregor, Mulgrew, Johansen, Kayal (Commons, h-t), Berget (Matthews, 66), Stokes. Substitutes not used Zaluska, Biton, Denayer, Griffiths.

Maribor Handanovic; Stojanovic, Rajcevic, Suler, Viler, Vrsic (Bohar, 83),Mertelj, Filipovic, Ibraimi, Mendy, Tavares (Dervisevic, 89). Substitutes not used Cotman,Mejac, Sallalich, Zahovic, Bohar, Arghus.

Referee V Kassai (Hungary).