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UEFA Champions League

  • August 20, 2014
  • • 2:45 PM
  • • Ljudski vrt, Maribor
  • Referee: P. Kralovec
  • • Attendance: 11400
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Live Commentary

  • Job done for now, though. Thanks for joining us - we'll be back on Tuesday for the second leg, and there's plenty more football to come before then. Good night!
  • Johansen was impressive in midfield for Celtic, playing a big part in the first goal and running all evening long, and Van Dijk certainly grew into it at the back. Deila might be a little concerned about a lack of firepower up front; though Stokes certainly put in a shift, there doesn't seem to be a Gary Hooper-esque goal threat in this side.
  • It wasn't perfect from Celtic but after the disaster in the last round they'll take that - they've got to be confident of beating Maribor in front of the Celtic Park crowd. In that respect, it's a step forward tonight from Ronny Deila. The group stage looks close.
  • 90' + 4'
    And that's it! Celtic take a draw and an away goal back to Scotland.
  • 90' + 3'
    Celtic take it short to run down more time and win a throw. Then it's passed back to the defence and keep cycling the ball round - that's three minutes.
  • 90' + 2'
    Yellow CardM. Lustig
  • 90' + 2'
    Griffiths gets away down the right and slips a pass in to Johansen, who's shown fantastic energy to break box-to-box. He tries to turn a shot past Handanovic but it's blocked. Celtic corner, and that should kill the clock.
  • 90' + 1'
    So sloppy from Ambrose - he loses the ball in his own half but does track back well to recover, conceding a corner. Mulgrew clears.
  • 90'
    We'll have three added minutes in Slovenia.
  • 89'
    Better ball from Viler, but Lustig is up to head away. Mulgrew sends a long ball towards McGregor but he's tired and beaten to it by Handanovic, who comes rushing out of his goal.
  • 88'
    McGregor concedes a free-kick for handball in his own half, but Ibraimi's cross is poor and Celtic clear once again. Then Izaguirre fouls on the Maribor right, though, and the Bhoys will have to defend another delivery.
  • 87'
    SubstitutionBeram Kayal Nir Biton
    Kayal is the man to go off for Biton, who will fill in for him in central midfield.
  • 87'
    Biton will add some height and his first action is to head Ibraimi's corner clear.
  • 86'
    Ibraimi twists and turns to commit McGregor into a sliding challenge before crossing, but the winger gets something to his opponent's attempted delivery. Corner.
  • 85'
    A Maribor cross comes in from the left and Mendy rises ominously but Van Dijk makes a vital challenge to clear. Celtic holding out, and Nir Biton looks set to come on.
  • 83'
    Another good stop by Gordon! Mertelj lets fly with venom from distance but the goalkeeper dives to his right to keep the shot out. It might have been heading just wide, but Gordon was not taking any chances.
  • 82'
    Griffiths does well to win the ball on the right and finds McGregor in the box. The winger goes over an outstretched leg, but rather too theatrically for the referee's liking - nothing given.
  • 81'
    SubstitutionAmir Derviševič Aleš Mertelj
    For Maribor, meanwhile, Dervisevic is replaced by Ales Mertelj.
  • 81'
    Into the final 10 minutes plus stoppage time now. Celtic would be sensible to sit on this and take a 1-1 back to Parkhead.
  • 80'
    SubstitutionAnthony Stokes Leigh Griffiths
    Stojanovic trips Izaguirre but gets away without a card. Leigh Griffiths comes on to give Stokes a well-deserved rest.
  • 79'
    SubstitutionDamjan Bohar Sintayehu Sallalich
    Another substitution for Maribor. Bohar, the goalscorer, goes off and is replaced by Sintayehu Sallalich.
  • 76'
    A long ball is played in to Tavares, and he complains that Denayer has pulled him down in the box. From a first look, it would have been a very soft penalty.
  • 75'
    Yellow CardCallum McGregor
    McGregor is booked for a cynical foul as Maribor look to attack.
  • 74'
    Van Dijk strolls forward from centre-back and hits a rocket of a shot from 30 yards that Handanovic tips over the crossbar. Celtic have got better as this half has gone on.
  • 73'
    SubstitutionJo Inge Berget E. Ambrose
    The fourth official has finally figured out who Celtic are bringing off - it's Berget, with Ambrose now on.
  • 73'
    SubstitutionDare Vrsic Jean-Philippe Mendy
    Maribor have also made a change, bringing on Jean-Philippe Mendy for Vrsic.
  • 73'
    Surely a penalty for Celtic? No! The referee's let play go on! Kayal seemed to be hacked down in the box but neither of the officials involved are interested.
  • 72'
    Glorious opportunity for Johansen! Kayal slides a nice ball into the midfielder and he bursts in between two defenders - if he'd gone to ground Suler might have been in trouble for holding him back - before just losing control of the ball as he looked to get his shot away. Handanovic dived at his feet to push the ball away.
  • 70'
    There was some confusion over Ambrose's eligibility for this game after a red card against Legia Warsaw, but after finding out he was available to play he flew out to join the squad. Let's hope Celtic, unlike their last opponents, have got that right.
  • 69'
    Stokes curls it in to the six-yard box, but it's headed clear. Efe Ambrose is about to come on for Celtic.
  • 68'
    Berget takes a woeful touch and the ball is rolling out of play, but Suler bizarrely pulls him back and concedes a free-kick. Good position, this, to the left of the penalty area.
  • 66'
    So close from Stokes! That's better from the striker; he contests a high ball with Suler and runs on to his own flick-on, holding off Rajcevic and forcing a shot just, just wide of Handanovic's far post. Unlucky.
  • 65'
    Stokes finding some space now as Maribor, perhaps, sense they could do with a second goal. Izaguirre steps up intelligently to tackle and advance the other way, and picks out the striker with a nice lofted ball. Stokes' shot is dragged wide of the target, unfortunately.
  • 62'
    And just as I say that... chance for Celtic! McGregor does superbly down the wing, and finds the space to stand up a cross for Stokes, but the striker's header down has the pace taken off it by Rajcevic and Handanovic collects. Stokes thinks the defender used his hand but the referee isn't interested.
  • 61'
    McGregor and Tavares have a wrestle on the Celtic right that ends with a free-kick to Maribor. The visitors will definitely settle for a point with the way this second half is going.
  • 59'
    Good save by Gordon! A terrible ball from Izaguirre starts the move off, and though Maribor can't immediately find a way through the Celtic back line they work it wide to Viler. His delivery is met by Ibraimi, who heads low towards Gordon's right corner, but the goalkeeper pushes it away and Tavares is offside as he looks to snatch the rebound.
  • 56'
    Berget breaks forward but is heading nowhere and ends up tripping over the ball. Johansen picks up the loose ball and sends a dangerous cross towards the penalty spot, but Handanovic is there.
  • 55'
    Filipovic beats Izaguirre to the ball and the Honduran rather clumsily bodychecks him, but gets away without a booking. Ibraimi's free-kick is poor, though, and hits the wall.
  • 54'
    Stokes is very isolated up front for Celtic and McGregor and Berget aren't really doing enough to support him. Berget looks to have a problem - possibly some contact to his face - after an aerial challenge.
  • 53'
    Vrsic runs at the Celtic defence but can't spot a pass to Tavares, who is looking to run in behind. Instead, he returns it to Bohar, who drives inside but can't keep his right-footed shot from distance down.
  • 52'
    Bohar gets past Lustig a little too easily on the Maribor left, but his cross is straight down the throat of Gordon. Maribor quickly win the ball back, though, and are enjoying a decent spell here.
  • 51'
    Yellow CardŽeljko Filipović
    There's the first yellow card of the match - it's shown to Filipovic, who slid in very late on Denayer.
  • 50'
    Berget cuts inside from the right, but there's a miscommunication between the winger and Johansen and his attempted through ball rolls to Handanovic. At the other end, Van Dijk had done well to defend a long ball in towards Vrsic in the box.
  • 49'
    Mulgrew intercepts in midfield but there's little ahead of him and Suler takes back the ball. Maribor look more threatening when they break forward, but Viler's cross from the left is a very poor one.
  • 47'
    Close from Tavares! The experienced striker lets a pass from Vrsic run on to his left foot and fires towards Gordon's top-right corner, but just misses. The referee gives a corner, but Denayer didn't seem to get anything on it.
  • 46'
    A poor kick by Handanovic is intercepted by Johansen, but Stokes is a long way offside when he chips over the exposed goalkeeper.
  • 46'
    Off we go again for the second half.
  • Celtic's back four really was all over the place for the Maribor equaliser. Izaguirre and Denayer dropped off, Van Dijk pushed up and there was enough room in the big hole between them for both Tavares and Bohar to run through on goal.
  • To be fair to Ronny Deila, Celtic have certainly tried to take control of this match and dominate possession. It's occasionally left them looking exposed at the back, though, whereas Maribor have kept to a more solid structure. Since their early goal, set pieces have looked the Scottish side's most likely route past Handanovic.
  • 45'
    The referee blows up with no time added. A mixed bag for Celtic, but they'll be quite happy to take this result back to Glasgow.
  • 41'
    Good chance for Maribor! Ibraimi lets rip from distance and forces Gordon to save, with the rebound falling for Stojanovic. His finish, though, is very much one of a right-back, unfortunately for the Slovenians; blasted high and wide.
  • 40'
    Celtic are having no trouble in midfield but have lacked quality in the final third. James Forrest is missing tonight through injury and McGregor and Berget have struggled to get into the game since the opening goal.
  • 39'
    Filipovic finds Ibraimi in the box and the forward holds off Van Dijk with his back to goal, but is penalised for using his hand as he brought the pass down.
  • 38'
    A high ball from Mulgrew causes some confusion between Handanovic and a defender but the Maribor goalkeeper is rather more decisive than Gordon, thumping the ball to safety.
  • 37'
    It's all settled down a bit as he approach half-time. Gordon takes a back pass and again looks unnerved, hooking it up high into the air when he could have taken a touch. Celtic, though, are enjoying most of the ball at the moment.
  • 34'
    Shaky defending again from Celtic. Stojanovic volleys a pass into the box and Van Dijk simply sends it spiralling up in the air, presumably happy to concede a corner. It doesn't quite go out, though, and Gordon makes a mess of his punch before getting lucky with the bounce and pouncing on the loose ball.
  • 31'
    How have Celtic not scored?! Stokes whips in a superb corner from the left and Van Dijk rises to crash it past Handanovic, but Johansen, for some reason, is standing on the line and blocks the effort with his face. He was also offside, so Maribor take back the ball.
  • 29'
    Johansen curls a pass through to Stokes, but the striker, expecting the ball earlier, is well offside.
  • 27'
    Celtic might have been in trouble had Stojanovic decided to cross from that position. Instead, he tried to beat Gordon with not a lot of goal to aim at.
  • 26'
    Denayer fouls, and Vrsic's free-kick is cleared behind by Izaguirre but the resulting corner comes to nothing. Maribor come forward again and right-back Stojanovic unleashes a fierce drive, but Gordon is equal to it.
  • 24'
    Johansen's delivery is dangerous again and cleared from a crowd of bodies at the near post. Lustig leaps to meet the second ball at the back of the box but can't keep his effort down.
  • 23'
    Nice ball again by Johansen - this time a low through pass finds Lustig on the right. He wins another corner, but we have a delay for shoving in the box as Johansen prepares to take it.
  • 21'
    Mulgrew goes close! Lustig, after some debate, wins a corner for Celtic. Johansen swings it in to the back post and Mulgrew wins the header, but his effort is cleared off the line.
  • 20'
    The corner is cleared only as far as McGregor, but his shot is blocked and Maribor move out.
  • 20'
    A decent ball by Izaguirre from the left is headed away somewhat haphazardly Rajcevic, but it's clear. Izaguirre pretty quickly gets another go and sends in an even better cross, but Suler does very well to intercept before Stokes could connect. Corner to Celtic.
  • 17'
    Celtic are back on the ball in search of another goal but Maribor, despite conceding first, have looked sterner at the back than their Scottish opponents. A draw and an away goal would not be the worst outcome for Celtic by any stretch, but there's a lot of football to play yet.
  • 14'
    AssistŽeljko Filipović
  • 14'
    GoalDamjan Bohar
    GOAL! Damjan Bohar gets the equaliser for Maribor! It's poor defending from Celtic; Filipovic has all the time in the world to play a straight ball through the defence. Tavares is held back by Denayer and the defender might have been in trouble with the referee had Bohar not been on hand to take up the pass anyway, finishing beyond Gordon with little fuss.
  • 14'
    Johansen likes a long ball and he's not bad at them, nearly finding Stokes with one left-footed delivery. Suler intercepts and Maribor take back possession.
  • 13'
    Celtic are quite happy to pass the ball across their back line now, Mulgrew dropping in between the two centre-backs. Then Lustig ventures forward and crosses low for Stokes, but with his back to goal the striker can't work a chance.
  • 10'
    Vrsic plays a nice ball out to Viler, who has advanced forward on the left flank, but the defender cuts inside and blasts an absolutely horrific right-footed shot out for a throw-in.
  • 9'
    Viler tries a Daley Blind-style long ball from left-back for Ibraimi, and Celtic are a bit loose in their marking again. Once more, though, they're left off by the forward's poor first touch.
  • 6'
    GoalCallum McGregor
    GOAL! Callum McGregor makes it a dream start for Celtic! Johansen is dictating things in the centre of midfield and picks out Berget in the box with a fine ball dropped behind the Maribor back four. Berget gets a slice of luck as he moves the ball to his right foot and forces a save from Handanovic, but McGregor is there to smash in the rebound from close range.
  • 4'
    Johansen coughs up possession in midfield and Filipovic tries a ball over the top to Tavares. The striker has escaped to the right of Denayer, but his first touch is poor and the Manchester City loanee recovers.
  • 3'
    Stokes works the ball left to Izaguirre, but his cross is tame and easily cleared. Maribor back in possession.
  • 2'
    Maribor start with the ball, then Celtic get it for a spell, but neither side has entered a dangerous area of the pitch so far. Ronny Deila's side moving forward now.
  • 1'
    And we're underway.
  • The players are out and here we go with the Champions League anthem. Nearly time for kick-off.
  • Agim Ibraimi, a 25-year-old forward, was reportedly a target for Celtic as well as a few Premier League clubs before signing a new contract with Maribor. He spent last season on loan at Cagliari and looks set to play off Marcos Tavares tonight. Tavares, a Brazilian, is Maribor's captain and all-time top goalscorer.
  • What kind of threat will Maribor pose to Celtic tonight, then? They have been dominant domestically, winning the Slovenian championship in each of the last four seasons, and their recent record against Scottish sides isn't bad either. In 2011, they put Rangers out of the Europa League as 3-2 winners over two legs. They'd beaten Hibernian in the same competition a year earlier, although they were defeated by Rangers in a Champions League qualification tie in 2001.
  • Celtic: Gordon; Lustig, Denayer, Van Dijk, Izaguirre; Johansen, Kayal, Mulgrew; McGregor, Stokes, Berget. Subs: Zaluska, Ambrose, Biton, Commons, Pukki, Griffiths, Henderson.
  • NK Maribor: Handanovic; Stojanovic, Rajcevic, Suler, Viler; Vrsic, Filipovic, Dervisevic, Bohar; Tavares, Ibraimi. Subs: Cotman, Mejac, Sallalich, Zahovic, Mendy, Arghus, Mertelj.
  • Good evening. Celtic, through a huge stroke of luck, have made the final qualifying round of the Champions League and tonight are in Slovenia for the first leg of their tie against NK Maribor. Let's see if they can make the most of their good fortune - if you missed it, Celtic were thrashed over two legs by Legia Warsaw but the Poles were eliminated for fielding an ineligible player - and take a big step towards securing a spot in the group stage. Team news to come.