Celtic 3-2 Real Betis extras: Fringe benefits for Postecoglou, Furuhashi injury woe, slapstick stewarding
The key points from Celtic Park as Europa League campaign ends with a thriller.
Player of the match
There were a few bonus performances from Ange Postecoglou’s perspective with right-back Osaze Urhoghide and midfielder Liam Shaw both acquitting themselves creditably as they made their first team debuts.
But the pick of the bunch in a team which showed 11 changes from Sunday’s win at Dundee United was central defender Stephen Welsh.
The 21-year-old took Celtic’s opening goal smartly and was generally assured at the heart of an untested back four.
Celtic’s supporters got full value for the third leg of their £72 Europa League Group G ticket package as goals from Welsh, Ewan Henderson and David Turnbull earned the see-saw 3-2 victory over a Real Betis team riding high in La Liga.
But their night was soured by the injury suffered by Kyogo Furuhashi whose planned night off was scrapped when he was sent on to replace Albian Ajeti midway through the first half.
Celtic will be hoping the 14-goal Japanese forward hasn’t suffered any kind of extensive damage.
There were more turning points than on a Formula 1 circuit in this rollercoaster of a contest which belied its status as a dead rubber. But the one that settled it came when Liel Abada was chopped down in the box by Edgar Gonzalez for the penalty which Turnbull slotted home for the winner.
Polish referee Daniel Stefanski dished out five yellow cards and handled the game intelligently, allowing it to flow whenever possible.
There was a debate over whether Celtic midfielder Ismaila Soro should have seen red for his flailing arm towards the face of Diego Lainez in a first half flashpoint but VAR backed the ref’s decision to book both players.
Gave us a giggle
A pitch invasion isn’t really a cause for mirth, especially on European nights when any mention of it in the UEFA delegate’s match report might see yet another fine heading Celtic’s way.
But it was difficult to suppress a laugh when three hefty stewards all tumbled to the turf in Keystone Cops fashion amid their clumsy attempts to apprehend the two young fans who entered the field of play at the end of the first half.
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