Celtic 1—4 Sparta Prague.

I must admit a tinge of satisfaction. I knew Rangers were one goal down at Benfica. When I checked again they were 3—1 up and Benfica were down to ten men.  It ended up 3—3. Not quite a crisis.

Here we go again. All the fireworks at Parkhead were from the Czechoslovakian team. They scored four goals. Hit the bar and post. Every time the Czech team went forward they looked like scoring. Celtic have lost at home to Rangers, A C Milan and Sparta Prague in quick succession. We had a reasonable draw in France, a disappointing draw at Pittodrie and a decent win at Hampden.

‘They’re all over the place at the back’, was Alan Stubbs’s  summary after the third goal. Lukas Julis swept the ball into the net from just outside the six-yard box for a hat trick. Game over, after substitute Griffiths had scored on  the 65th minute to give us hope of a fight back, a draw, or even enough time for a win.  

But it was the Czech, number seven who made it look so easy. Karrison wasn’t far behind Julis for man of the match. Then again, he was up against Shane Duffy in a foot race, which the Irish man looked odds on to win. Duffy has the habit of making it look so easy for the attacker. Karrison swept past him, just over the half-way line. The ball was lost, the game was lost. Krejci added a fourth for Sparta on the 90th minute.

The Sparta manager claimed Celtic were the weakest team in the group. He retracted, and added, what he meant was Milan and Lille were leading their respective leagues, which were competitively stronger. He was right the first time. The stats don’t lie. Four European ties on the bounce lost at Parkhead. Not since Ronnie Deila, when we closed the top-tier, have Celtic looked so unconvincing in defence and powder puff all over the park.

Lennon has rolled the dice. Difficult to see what he does next. Laxalt and Rogic coming back have been positives. Elyounoussi checking his phone, after being subbed. That tells us all we need to know about priorities. Maybe he was checking the league tables.

Celtic are not in a good place. Out of Europe. We’ve all being saying the say thing, concentrate on the league. I wish it was that simple. Shane Duffy is the worst loan signing since—(stick your own suggestion in here). The Celtic defence is all over the place. So is the team. So is the management team. Sixty thousand Celtic fans who would have turned up for these games would have been short-changed had they paid good money. Robbed. We’re watching through the cracks in our fingers. Hoping that other mob crack first. Whatever they do, we can do better. We showed it again tonight. Away to Motherwell on Sunday—must win. What Celtic team will turn up?

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