Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Home Sport Football Scottish Celtic

Celtic's Europa League hopes suffer another blow after home defeat by Molde

Molde 2 - Celtic 1

By Ronnie Esplin

Published 05/11/2015

GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Kieran Tierney of Celtic reacts following his team's 2-1 defeat during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Kieran Tierney of Celtic reacts following his team's 2-1 defeat during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: (R-L) Ronny Deila the manager of Celtic chats with Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the head coach of Molde prior to kickoff during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Martin Linnes of Molde and Kieran Tierney of Celtic battle for the ball during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Harmeet Singh of Molde is challenged by Tomas Rogic of Celtic during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the head coach of Molde looks on during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the head coach of Molde looks on during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath of Molde dives in vain as Kris Commons (nit shown) of Celtic scores the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Kris Commons of Celtic scores the opening goal with a header during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Goalkeeper Ethan Horvath of Molde dives in vain as Kris Commons (nit shown) of Celtic scores the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Kris Commons #15 of Celtic is congratulated by teammates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Kris Commons #15 of Celtic is congratulated by teammates after scoring the opening goal during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Tomas Rogic of Celtic has his shot on goal saved by goalkeeper Ethan Horvath of Molde during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Daniel Berg Hestad of Molde scores his team's second goal despite the challenge from Tyler Blackett of Celtic during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Daniel Berg Hestad (R) of Molde celebrates with teammates Joona Toivo (L) and Etzaz Hussain (C) after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Daniel Berg Hestad (R) of Molde celebrates with teammates Joona Toivo (L) and Etzaz Hussain (C) after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Kieran Tierney of Celtic holds off the challenge from Mattias Mostrom of Molde during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Martin Linnes of Molde and Kieran Tierney of Celtic battle for the ball during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Ronny Deila the manager of Celtic looks on during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Leigh Griffiths of Celtic breaks forward during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Leigh Griffiths of Celtic puts his shot wide during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Nir Biton of Celtic leaves the pitch after being shown the red card during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Nir Biton of Celtic leaves the pitch after being shown the red card during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the head coach of Molde celebrates his team's 2-1 victory during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
GLASGOW, SCOTLAND - NOVEMBER 05: Mohammed Elyounoussi of Molde and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer the head coach of Molde celebrates following their team's 2-1 victory during the UEFA Europa League Group A match between Celtic FC and Molde FK at Celtic Park on November 5, 2015 in Glasgow, United Kingdom. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)
Molde FK's Norwegian forward Mohamed Elyounoussi (R) shoots to score his team's first goal during a UEFA Europa League Group A football match between Celtic and Molde FK at Celtic Park, in Glasgow, Scotland on November 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANANAndy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images
Molde FK's Norwegian forward Mohamed Elyounoussi (R) shoots to score his team's first goal during a UEFA Europa League Group A football match between Celtic and Molde FK at Celtic Park, in Glasgow, Scotland on November 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANANAndy Buchanan,Andy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images
Molde FK's Norwegian forward Mohamed Elyounoussi celebrates scoring his team's first goal during a UEFA Europa League Group A football match between Celtic and Molde FK at Celtic Park, in Glasgow, Scotland on November 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANANAndy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images
Molde FK's Norwegian forward Mohamed Elyounoussi (R) celebrates scoring his team's first goal during a UEFA Europa League Group A football match between Celtic and Molde FK at Celtic Park, in Glasgow, Scotland on November 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANANAndy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images
Molde FK's Norwegian forward Mohamed Elyounoussi (R) celebrates scoring his team's first goal during a UEFA Europa League Group A football match between Celtic and Molde FK at Celtic Park, in Glasgow, Scotland on November 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANANAndy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images
Molde FK's Norwegian midfielder Daniel Hestad celebrates scoring his team's second goal during a UEFA Europa League Group A football match between Celtic and Molde FK at Celtic Park, in Glasgow, Scotland on November 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANANAndy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images
Molde FK's Norwegian midfielder Daniel Hestad (L) celebrates scoring his team's second goal during a UEFA Europa League Group A football match between Celtic and Molde FK at Celtic Park, in Glasgow, Scotland on November 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANANAndy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images
Molde FK's Norwegian midfielder Daniel Hestad (C) celebrates scoring his team's second goal during a UEFA Europa League Group A football match between Celtic and Molde FK at Celtic Park, in Glasgow, Scotland on November 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANANAndy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images
Celtic's Belgin defender Dedryck Boyata (L) vies against Molde FK's Norwegian forward Tommy Hoiland during a UEFA Europa League Group A football match between Celtic and Molde FK at Celtic Park, in Glasgow, Scotland on November 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANANAndy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images
Celtic's English midfielder Kris Commons vies against Molde FK's Norwegian forward Mohamed Elyounoussi (L) during a UEFA Europa League Group A football match between Celtic and Molde FK at Celtic Park, in Glasgow, Scotland on November 5, 2015. AFP PHOTO / ANDY BUCHANANAndy Buchanan/AFP/Getty Images
Celtic's Kris Commons (left) and Molde's Harmeet Singh battle for the ball during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Celtic's Kris Commons celebrates scoring his sides first goal with team mate Nir Bitton during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Celtic's Kris Commons (right) celebrates scoring his sides first goal with team mates Leigh Griffiths (left) and Nir Bitton (centre) during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Celtic's Nir Bitton shoots to set up Kris Commons (not pictured) for a his goal during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Celtic's Nir Bitton scores but the goal is disallowed during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Celtic's Nir Bitton reacts after his disallowed goal during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Celtic's Nir Bitton reacts after his disallowed goal during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Celtic's Leigh Griffiths reacts after his disallowed goal during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Celtic's Leigh Griffiths reacts after his disallowed goal during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Molde's Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Molde's Manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (left) during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Molde's Mohamed Elyounoussi scores his sides first goal during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Molde's Mohamed Elyounoussi scores his sides first goal during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Celtic's Nir Bitton receives a red card during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Celtic's Nir Bitton (left) receives a red card as Celtic's Mikael Lustig (right) appeals to the referee during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Celtic's Nir Bitton walks of the pitch receiving a red card during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Celtic's Nir Bitton walks of the pitch receiving a red card watched by Celtic Manager Ronny Deila (second right) during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Celtic's Leigh Griffiths looks dejected after missed shot during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire
Celtic's Leigh Griffiths shoots but fails to score during the UEFA Europa League match at Celtic Park, Glasgow. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Thursday November 5, 2015. See PA story SOCCER Celtic. Photo credit should read: Danny Lawson/PA Wire

Celtic's Europa League hopes suffered another blow following a 2-1 home defeat by Molde - and the spotlight will surely turn back on boss Ronny Deila.

The offside flag deprived the Hoops of two goals in the first 12 minutes following the loss of Jozo Simunovic to injury before Mohamed Elyounoussi stunned Parkhead with a 20-yard drive.

Midfielder Kris Commons levelled five minutes later but Molde's 40-year-old skipper Daniel Hestad restored the Norwegian club's lead in the 37th minute to give them the interval advantage.

The hapless home side's misery was compounded in the 77th minute when Nir Bitton, who had moved from midfield to defence in a reshuffle, was shown a straight red card by referee Slavko Vincic for a 'last man' tackle on Molde substitute Ola Kamara.

Defeat kept Deila's side bottom of Group A with two points from four games and with a home game against Ajax and a trip to Fenerbahce remaining, the Scottish champions require two wins to progress, an unlikely scenario on the evidence so far.

It was a huge night for Deila and ostensibly, it looked to have started in positive fashion when Croatian defender Simunovic shrugged off a foot knock to take his place in defence.

However, the 21-year-old lasted only six minutes before he was left on the turf following a challenge from Molde attacker Tommy Hoiland, and hobbled off to be replaced by Tyler Blackett.

Even then it did not look as if it was going to be Celtic's night.

In the 10th minute Bitton drove in a pass from Commons but the offside flag was up for Leigh Griffiths, who had shifted to get out of the way.

Two minutes later, Griffiths thought he had scored from close range with a shot but again he was ruled offside to further anger the Hoops support.

An anxiety enveloped Parkhead every time Molde broke forward and in the 19th minute, Hoiland raced clean through on goal but his poor touch allowed Craig Gordon to gather.

However, the Hoops goalkeeper had no chance in the 21st minute when Blackett's header was returned from 20 yards by Elyounoussi into the far corner of the net.

The visitors, though, looked far from cohesive in defence and Commons lifted the despondency when he wrong-footed Molde keeper Ethan Horvath by getting a touch on Bitton's 25-yard drive, with the ball speeding in at the post.

The home side almost took the lead in the 31st minute after a mistake by Horvath but the keeper saved Tom Rogic's shot before Commons' drive was headed behind for a corner by Hestad.

The veteran midfielder's next contribution was even more meaningful when, after getting in front of Blackett at the far post, he turned Elyounoussi's deflected cross into the net after the home side failed to properly clear a corner.

James Forrest replaced Commons for the start of the second half with Kamara on for Hoiland and both teams continued in the same, almost reckless, fashion.

Amid some smart attacking play by Molde, Horvath tipped a powerful drive from Celtic left-back Kieran Tierney over the bar for a corner, which came to nothing, and then pulled off a brilliant save down at his post from a Mikael Lustig header, before denying Bitton with another great block.

Twice within minutes, however, Hoops defender Dedryck Boyata had to clear from in front of his own posts.

In the 69th minute, substitute Blackett was replaced by striker Nadir Ciftci with Bitton dropping back to defence, before Griffiths blazed the ball wide from 10 yards after being picked out by Stefan Johansen.

The Scottish champions kept plugging away, all the while leaving themselves vulnerable at the back and when Bitton was sent packing for fouling Kamara as he raced through on goal, it capped a disastrous night for the Hoops.

Celtic were consequently and understandably deflated but it could have been worse - with seven minutes remaining Kamara flashed a drive from distance off the top of the crossbar - before the visitors managed four added minutes with some comfort.

More to follow

Online Editors

Your Comments

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Read More

From Belfast Telegraph