Three ways Celtic can improve in the Champions League

Celtic take the lead against Manchester City at the Etihad on Tuesday evening. Picture: Getty

Celtic take the lead against Manchester City at the Etihad on Tuesday evening. Picture: Getty

2
Have your say

Celtic concluded their Champions League campaign with a 1-1 draw against Manchester City on Tuesday night.

Click here for the latest results, fixtures and stats>>>

The Hoops were already confirmed as Group C’s bottom side and out of Europe for the season ahead of their trip to the Etihad Stadium.

Here, David Gunn looks at what Celtic need to do to get better in the competition if they get there next season.

ADD MORE QUALITY AND KEEP BEST PLAYERS

Boss Brendan Rodgers needs to continue to build on solid foundations at Parkhead and money is available to the Northern Irishman. Celtic currently have a big squad and there will be players who will move on. Patrick Roberts will return to Manchester City following the conclusion of his 18-month loan spell.

Rodgers will be looking for at least a couple of players who are proven quality and the possibility of another tilt at the Champions League will help with recruitment.

In addition to boosting his squad, the former Swansea and Liverpool boss will be looking to keep his best players. Striker Moussa Dembele and winger Scott Sinclair have been the notable additions this season but the France Under-21 star will no doubt be subject to interest from quite a few clubs in the summer. If he were to leave there would be a gap to fill.

BE MORE RUTHLESS

Passing up chances in the Ladbrokes Premiership need not be damaging to Celtic’s domestic ambitions but Europe is different. Callum McGregor missed a great opportunity at 1-1 to give Celtic a late win in Monchengladbach and three points instead of one might have kept the Hoops in Europe after Christmas.

And although unlikely, it might have been different had Dembele scored a penalty against Barcelona in the Nou Camp when the hosts were leading 1-0 on match day one. As it transpired, Celtic went on to ship another six goals.

Dembele and Leigh Griffiths missed chances against City on Tuesday night so Rodgers will be hoping his players will be more clinical in front of goal next year.

BE LUCKY IN THE DRAW

The draw did the Scottish champions no favours. Barcelona, Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach, teams from Europe’s heavyweight leagues, would have provided a barrier to progress for many teams in Europe.

An easier section would have given Celtic more of a fighting chance and Rodgers and the Hoops supporters will hope the draw is kinder next summer, should the Parkhead club qualify for the competition.

Keep up to date with all our sport news on The Scotsman’s Sport page on Facebook

READ MORE - Rumour Mill: Celtic’s Patrick Roberts eyes City return | Hibs cup tie set for Tynecastle | Cathro took Rafa’s advice

Back to the top of the page