Super-sub Leigh Griffiths heads dramatic late Celtic winner

Celtic 1 Rosenborg 0

Super-sub Leigh Griffiths heads dramatic late Celtic winner


Leigh Griffiths climbed off the bench to score a dramatic late winner for Celtic in their Europa League Group B opener against old foes Rosenborg at Celtic Park last night.

The Bhoys had knocked the Norwegian outfit out of the Champions League qualifiers earlier in the season and indeed last year.

That familiarity appeared to contribute to an insipid first 45 minutes which ended with visiting keeper Andre Hansen touching a shot from Odsonne Edouard on to the outside of the post.

The Scottish champions continued their struggle in the second half until the 87th minute when Griffiths, on for Edouard, headed in a Dedryck Boyata knock down for a 1-0 win and three points that had looked like escaping them.

The Scotland international told BT Sport: “I want to be the number-one striker, there’s no doubt about that.

But I have fierce competition from Odsonne. He is a great player, a young lad with bags of potential and he’s playing well at the moment.

The first half only warmed up towards the interval.

In the 42nd minute Hansen made a fine double save, first from Rogic’s left-footed drive from 16 yards before pushing Edouard’s close-range effort from the rebound on to the outside of the post for a corner which came to nothing.

Rogic had another chance when he broke forward in a counter five minutes after the break but with McGregor steaming up in support, the Australia international chose to fire straight at Hansen.

Just before the hour mark Rogic and James Forrest were replaced by Scott Sinclair and Mikey Johnston as Brendan Rodgers tried a speedier route to the opener.

The two substitutes combined in the 62nd minute when Johnston burst into the box and crossed for Sinclair but his volley on the stretch from 12 yards missed the target.

The Norwegian side were camped at the edge of their own box without hinting that they were looking to win the match.

Celtic pressed but with diminishing belief.

Griffiths replaced Edouard in the 76th minute before Johnston turned a Kieran Tierney cut-back over the bar.

However, all was well when Griffiths, from right in front of goal and unmarked, headed Boyata’s set-up from a Scott Brown cross past Hansen to secure the points.

CELTIC: Gordon, Lustig, Boyata, Benkovic, Tierney, Rogic (Sinclair 57), Brown, Forrest (Johnston 58), McGregor, Ntcham, Edouard (Griffiths 76).

ROSENBORG: Hansen,Hedenstadt,Hovland,Reginiussen,Meling,Denic, Jensen,Konradsen (Lundemo 45),de Lanlay (Trondsen 69), Soderlund (Levi 78),Jebali.

Referee: Pawel Gil (Poland).

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