McGeady’s Celtic downed by Hamburg

Celtic 0 Hamburg 1

Celtic 0 Hamburg 1

Celtic suffered their third European home defeat under Tony Mowbray to leave them staring at an early exit from the Europa League.

Marcus Berg finished clinically in the 63rd minute after Ze Roberto had split open the Celtic defence as Hamburg joined Arsenal and Dinamo Moscow in further undermining Celtic’s previously formidable home record.

Celtic, who have now won just two of eight home games in all competitions under Mowbray, were sloppy in possession throughout, although they created several first-half chances.

Only Barcelona had beaten Celtic in a European match at Parkhead in eight years before Mowbray took charge, but the latest defeat leaves the Hoops well adrift at the bottom of their group with just one point from three games.

Celtic’s lack of composure on the ball was apparent from the second minute when Jonathan Pitroipa forced Artur Boruc into a save after the recalled Landry N’Guemo gave away possession.

The game continued in a scrappy manner but Celtic created their first clear chance in the 13th minute when Shaun Maloney’s corner found its way to the back post, where Scott Brown sliced wide from six yards.

Hamburg immediately made their first real opportunity when Pitroipa cut the ball back for Berg but the Swede’s scuffed shot trundled wide.

Brown was employed in a second striker’s role behind Scott McDonald but he seemed unsure of his duties and shot straight at Frank Rost from 25 yards on one of the rare occasions he found space between Hamburg’s defence and midfield.

Celtic continued to waste possession and Hamburg enjoyed a good spell after the half-hour mark.

Pitroipa curled a shot into Boruc’s arms after an exchange of passes with Ze Roberto and Marcell Jansen volleyed high and wide after being picked out by the Brazilian after the Celtic goalkeeper threw the ball straight back to Hamburg.

Berg headed over from eight yards after a corner by Dennis Aogo, who soon curled a free-kick just over from 30 yards.

Pitroipa was off target from 20 yards after breaking quickly down the right when Robson lost the ball inside the Hamburg half, but Celtic finished the half the stronger side.

Aiden McGeady appealed for a penalty after falling over David Rozenhal’s legs but Italian referee Gianluca Rocchi correctly decided the Celtic winger had run into his opponent.

N’Guemo’s header then found Maloney onside and unmarked 10 yards out after McGeady’s cross had been half cleared, but the Scotland winger could only hook the ball across the face of goal.

Seconds later McDonald turned and fired wide after Maloney’s corner eventually fell for him with his back to goal on the edge of the six-yard box.

Maloney created several more opportunities after the break but McGeady shot weakly at Rost from 12 yards and Mark Wilson’s ball across the six-yard box was cleared as McDonald waited to pounce.

Hamburg came closer in the 51st minute when Eljero Elia, who scored the winner for Holland against Scotland last month, lashed against the bar from 15 yards after clever play by Pitroipa.

Celtic – with Georgios Samaras on for McDonald – failed to heed the warning though as Berg finished brilliantly.

Ze Roberto burst clear of the Celtic midfield after Pitroipa chested down a long ball and fed Berg, who fired first time into the bottom corner from 20 yards.

Hamburg continued to threaten. Berg headed straight at Boruc after Stephen McManus missed a long ball and the unmarked Elia just failed to get a decent touch on Aogo’s driven cross.

Paddy McCourt came on with 15 minutes left to give Celtic a much-needed spark but Samaras was flagged offside when the winger’s low drive was pushed wide by Rost.

Gary Caldwell and McGeady both cleared the bar with half chances before Celtic were booed off the park.

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