‘Celtic fans leave their mark’ - Spanish press react to Valencia win and fan trouble

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Celtic exited European competition for the season after falling to a 1-0 defeat in Valencia on Thursday evening.

• READ MORE: Referee ‘took game away from Celtic’ with Jeremy Toljan red card, fumes Brendan Rodgers

Celtic players were left disappointed. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty

Celtic players were left disappointed. Picture: Richard Heathcote/Getty

Brendan Rodgers men sought to recover a 2-0 loss in the first-leg at Celtic Park and made a fist of it until Jeremy Toljan was shown a second yellow card in the 37th minute.

Kevin Gamniero’s 70th minute goal secured progression for the Spaniards.

Celtic earned plenty of praise for their approach to the encounter at the Mestalla.

Writing in Super Deporte, Andreu Alberola said the home side “complicated” the game and that Celtic “surprised” on a “night that lacked fantasy”.

“They came out with the Scottish spirit, attacking Neto’s goal, distancing themselves from the image of semi-amateur team that they exhibited in the first legin Paradise... Valencia felt uncomfortable.

“At the lowest point of Valencia, however, Toljan appeared to correct the collision course. Valencia found an exceptional ally on the right side of Celtic, having already seen the yellow card.”

Alberola recognised Scott Bain “as the most outstanding of the Scots”.

In Marca, David Schiavone said: “Celtic came out with serious intent and looked to get in behind the Valencia backline with Jonathan Hays and Oliver Burke both looking dangerous. However a lack of composure in the final third cost the away side.”

Conrado Valle referenced the Celtic fans’ drinking exploits in his report.

He wrote: “At Celtic, it must be said, the faith lasted longer than their fans’ every litre of beer.”

He added: “Celtic, in truth, barked but did not bite and their teeth were shattered when Toljan knocked down Guedes.”

Cayetano Ros, writing in local paper Levante, noted his disappointment at the performance of the home side labelling the first-half “soporific”.

“Not even the comfortable return of the first leg at Celtic Park encouraged Valencia to get loose,” he said.

“It is a team with risk aversion. Everything is security passes. Nobody dares to send in depth. The lukewarm pressure of the VCF allowed Celtic long possession of the ball.”

While Ros noted that Celtic “raised the white flag” after the interval there was praise for the match-going fans.

“At the end of the meeting,” he said, “the Celtic fans, and despite the elimination, continued to sing and cheer their players as if football, in fact, was just an excuse to be happy. No defeat takes away that happiness.

During Celtic fans’ time in Spain’s third biggest city footage emerged of clashes with police. A handful of supporters were arrested.

“Some Glasgow Celtic fans stopped traffic in some parts of the city and broke bottles,” it said in Super Deporte, “as well as urinating in the street, after the Europa League match.

“According to police sources, the incidents caused many phone calls to the police to report what happened, but an hour after the game there were no arrests.”

JM Bort, writing in Levante, bemoaned the mess left behind by Celtic fans after they congregated in areas of Valencia to drink.

“The Celtic fans leave their mark,” the piece said. “The massive exodus of Celtic fans from Glasgow to Valencia left new incidents yesterday and many tons of waste in the streets.

“The police had to charge against drunken fans in an Irish pub in the area of ​​Canovas and a follower was injured when falling to the channel from the Puente de las Flores while doing a selfie.

“The day could not be totally calm. It was impossible. With more than 7,500 Celtic fans on the streets, with excessive alcohol levels in the blood and adrenaline fired, some isolated incident fell within the police’s forecasts, no matter how peaceful the Celtic fans passed on.

“Except in the Copa del Rey finals held at Mestalla, there is no memory of such a massive presence of visiting fans meandering through the squares and streets of the city, from Ciutat Vella to Mestalla, passing through the Pla del Remei and the Ensanche.

“It was rare the Celtic fan who had not spent yesterday drinking beers, one after another, in the most emblematic areas of the city: Plaza de la Reina, Sant Jaume or La Virgen.”