Celtic 2 – 1 Wolfsburg: Win marred by Sviatchenko head knock

Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko receives treatment after sustaining a head injury. Photograph: Rob Casey/SNS

Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko receives treatment after sustaining a head injury. Photograph: Rob Casey/SNS

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A second-half strike by substitute Ryan Christie gave Celtic a 2-1 friendly win over Wolfsburg but the most significant aspect of Brendan Rodgers’ first home game as boss could be the injury to Erik Sviatchenko.

After defender Paul Seguin’s drive deflected off 20-year-old stopper Eoghan O’Connell and wrong-footed goalkeeper Craig Gordon to give the visitors the lead in the 11th minute, the Danish defender was taken off with a head knock after being flattened by Wolfsburg keeper Diego Benaglio.

Rodgers preferred to bring on 18-year-old Kristoffer Ajer for his home debut rather than the experienced Efe Ambrose who was at fault for the goal in Celtic’s shock 1-0 Champions League qualifying defeat by minnows Lincoln Red Imps on Tuesday night.

Depending on the extent of Sviatchenko’s injury, the former Liverpool boss could face a selection dilemma at the heart of his defence ahead of the second leg of the second qualifier at Parkhead on Wednesday night, albeit the Scottish champions should still have more than enough to get past the part-timers.

In the 21st minute Hoops midfielder Callum McGregor levelled with a curling shot from 25 yards but the Bundesliga outfit provided a good test for Celtic.

In a match which also marked the introduction of a safe standing section at Parkhead, Gordon made a decent save from Anton Donkor’s close-range strike while, at the other end, Benaglio blocked an effort by new Hoops signing Moussa Dembele.

Rodgers brought on ten new players for the start of the second-half including Ambrose while Wolfsburg made five changes with more to follow.

The new-look Celtic side had plenty of appetite and in the 62nd minute Christie skipped past two Wolfsburg defenders inside the box to fire in the winner.

Wolfsburg’s substitute keeper Koen Casteels then held James Forrest’s angled-drive from 14 yards as the home side kept going for more goals but to no avail.

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