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Europa League: Chris Commons' rant sees problems mount on Celtic night of woe against Molde

Molde 3-1 Celtic

By Ronnie Esplin

Celtic manager Ronny Deila criticised goal-scorer Kris Commons for his angry reaction after being substituted as the Hoops' Europa League hopes were blown off course against Molde in dreadful conditions at the blustery Aker Stadion in Norway.

The Scottish international scored cut Molde's lead early in the second half, after they had scored twice before the interval.

He was then substituted 14 minutes from time and showed his annoyance by shouting and gesturing towards assistant manager John Collins.

Deila said: "I understand that players can be disappointed, but to show it in that way is now how we want.

"We are one team and we are not one player."

Molde's artificial surface was rendered all but unplayable in places by swirling wind and rain as first-half goals by striker Ola Kamara, who had played under Hoops boss Deila at Stromsgodset, and defender Vegard Forren gave the home side a two-goal interval lead.

As the players continued to slip and slide after the break, Kris Commons reduced the lead in the 54th minute with a well-taken goal, but seconds later Mohamed Elyounoussi restored the Norwegian club's advantage.

Celtic could not get back into the match and have two points from three Group A games with Molde still sitting atop with seven points ahead of their visit to Glasgow on November 5 where Deila's side need a win to get back on track.

Molde took the lead in the 11th minute, with almost their first meaningful attack.

Dedryck Boyata's pass was cut out by Elyounoussi and when he knocked a simple pass into Kamara who opened his body up before drilling his shot past keeper Craig Gordon at his near post.

There was more woe for the Scottish champions seven minutes later following a Molde corner which allowed the home side to pin Celtic back.

From the left, Joona Toivio crossed for fellow centre-back Forren to volley past Gordon from 14 yards, the ball first coming off the surface before speeding into the net.

When Commons took advantage of a mistake in the Molde defence by Martin Linnes to skilfully chip the ball past Horvath soon after the break, it gave the Parkhead side a lifeline.

However, the Celtic fans were still celebrating when the Norwegian side ran up the park and established again their two-goal lead, Elyounoussi converting a cross from Mattias Mostrom at the back post with a close-range drive.

The goal stunned Deila's side and in the 62nd minute they could have lost another when Linnes picked out Kamara with a pin-point cross but the Norwegian forward misjudged the flight of the ball.

Kamara then missed a one-on-one with Gordon, skewing his shot wide of the far post.

Gary Mackay-Steven replaced Armstrong in the 73rd minute and Ciftci came on for Commons who showed his raging at the decision as he went into the dugout.

Gordon then saved from Molde midfielder Etzaz Hussain after the Hoops defence was again cut open before Hoops midfielder Nir Bitton sent a dipping shot off the top of the crossbar with two minutes remaining.

On his team's chance of progressing from the group after the defeat Deila said: "It makes it much harder but we have two home games now and need to beat Molde at home".

Belfast Telegraph


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