Science

Brendan Rodgers calls for repeat performance as Celtic tackle Zenit again

Brendan Rodgers calls for repeat performance as Celtic tackle Zenit again

The Sweden global struggled at the Krestovskyi Stadium as Zenit found the back of the net three times to wipe out Celtic's advantage from the first leg and knock them out of the Europa League; the Hoops won the corresponding fixture 1-0 at Paradise last week.

From there, Celtic were dumped out of the knockouts at the first hurdle.

Celtic have now failed to reach the last 16 of a European tournament since the 2012-13 Champions League, while Zenit are still hoping to repeat their UEFA Cup success from 10 years ago after the 3-1 aggregate win.

While De Vries had little chance with the opener, he would have expected to do better with Kuzyaev's strike that put Zenit in charge of the tie in the 27th minute.

Top-scorer Aleksandr Kokorin continues up front while Emiliano Rigoni, who is the Europa League's second-highest scorer this season with six goals, playing on the wing.

Brendan Rodgers' side went into the game at the Krestovsky Stadium 1-0 up but Celtic got off to the worst possible start when an unmarked Branislav Ivanovic headed home a corner from the right on seven minutes.

But, at 2-0 down, we were still in the game and we had to show bravery.

Mkhitaryan: Europa League Won't Distract Arsenal
The Gunners came in into the last-32 second-leg clash 3-0 up with many expecting this game to be a mere formality. He has played predominantly as a left wing-back, but his favoured position is in central midfield.

The Celtic manger said: "Defensively, we lacked aggression, particularly in the first half".

"I think there's still an very bad lot of work for us to do, but there have been a lot of positives for us in both competitions".

"We were much better than them in the first game".

"We were one step away from the miracle", said Napoli's Brazilian midfielder Allan.

"We know that over the course of the two legs we need to replicate that but the players are ready for that".

Despite the defeat to Zenit, Celtic still have plenty to play for this season, and look on course for another treble. At the beginning of the first leg, I was being a realist as everyone would probably expect Zenit to go through, but what we showed in the first leg is that we're going to make it very hard for them and going to make it really competitive.


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