Celtic 0 Aalborg 0: Celtic huff and puff to no avail after penalty miss

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The Independent Football

Stephen McManus conceded Celtic "have it all to do" to qualify for the Champions League knockout phases for a third consecutive season after blowing their chance to get off to a winning start last night.

Barry Robson missed a first-half penalty as the Scottish champions were held 0-0 by Group E fourth seeds Aalborg at Parkhead. Such is their miserable European away form, Celtic have needed a 100 per cent home record to reach the last 16 in the previous two seasons.

Asked if they now needed to record a first ever Champions League victory on the road, captain McManus said: "We do. If we don't and win our two games here, that gives us six points [seven in total]. We certainly won't get through with that.

"We've got it all to do and we need to look to take something away from home now. We're a bit down on ourselves. We were looking to win the game.

"It's certainly not a great feeling at this time. We've had some tremendous results here in the past couple of seasons. To start this campaign without a win is bitterly disappointing. But all credit to Aalborg. They came here and gave a good account of themselves. I don't think we took our chances."

As well as Robson's miss, Celtic were unable to capitalise on a late Aalborg sending off. That proved the most controversial moment of the night, with Michael Beauchamp dismissed for a foul on Georgios Samaras, despite the culprit being Michael Jakobsen. The unfortunate Beauchamp could not believe the referee's erroneous red card. He said: "It definitely looked like an easy decision. He had his two helpers on the sidelines as well and all three of them got it wrong. A bit disappointing for myself but that's football sometimes."

Celtic manager Gordon Strachan admitted the result did "feel like a defeat". He said: "It's another challenge for us but we've come good in the past couple of years and we'll come good with this."

Celtic (4-4-2): Boruc; Hinkel, Caldwell, McManus, Naylor; Nakamura, Brown, Robson, Maloney (Vennegoor of Hesselink, 72); McDonald (McGeady, 63), Samaras. Substitutes not used: Brown, Hartley, Wilson, Crossas, Loovens.

Aalborg (4-1-4-1): Zaza; Beauchamp, Olfers, Jakobsen, Pedersen; Augustinussen; Curth (Nielsen, 85), Johannson, Risgaard, Enevoldsen; Saganowski. Substitutes not used: Stenild, Due, Caca, Braemer, Kristensen, Schwartz Nielsen.

Referee: M Trefoloni (Italy).

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