25 Aug Malmo 2-0 Celtic (4-3 agg): Hoops crash out of Champions League
Celtic have been eliminated from the Champions League after a disappointing defeat to Malmo.
Marcus Rosenberg put the hosts in front with a header from close range in the first half.
Celtic thought they had levelled the scores when Nir Bitton bundled home but the referee controversially adjudged there to be a foul in the build up.
The Scottish champions fell further behind as William Carvalho punished slack marking at another corner and it proved too much of a uphill task to come back from.
Just as Celtic did last year they have exited the campaign at the same stage and will now go into the Europa League, while Malmo head to the lucrative group stages.
The pre-match trash talk had been put to one side and it was Malmo, buoyed by a fervent crowd in the Swedbank Stadion and trailing 3-2 from the first leg, who made a positive start.
Ronny Deila insisted Celtic would go through but after Rosenberg put Malmo in front with the aid of his shoulder from Yoshimar Yotun’s inswinging corner, it seemed a promise he could not keep.
The striker Rosenberg was missed in the first leg by the Swedes and he was close to doubling the hosts lead but Dedryck Boyata blocked his effort
At the other end, Leigh Griffiths showed stupidity and was lucky to avoid being dismissed by referee Milorad Madzic after kneeing Anton Tinnerholm off the ball.
But if Celtic were fortunate with that call the next contentious decision went against them just as they thought they had found an equaliser.
It seemed a perfectly legitimate goal.
Bitton bundled the ball home from close range from Stuart Armstrong’s corner but the referee ruled there had been a foul in the build up much to the bemusement of the visitors.
Celtic’s frustration was almost exacerbated but it took a stunning save from Craig Gordon to deny Nikola Djurdjic from putting Malmo further ahead.
Kris Commons was introduced at half-time for Armstrong to give the Hoops more attacking impetus but they continued to be on the back foot.
Rodic was released wide on the right and forced Gordon into a save but the Scotland international did brilliantly to deny the follow up from Rosenberg,
However, his efforts were ultimately in vain as Malmo grabbed a second again from a corner as Boyata was unable to keep out Carvalho’s header.
Nadir Ciftci came in for Bitton, while Gary Mackay-Steven came in for James Forrest as Celtic looked for a way back into the tie.
However, they were unable to produce a dash of quality which was required to break down a resistant Malmo defence.