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Deila accuses Celtic of being “scared” in Champions League KO

Celtic manager Ronny Deila offered a damning assessment after his team crashed out of the UEFA Champions League at Malmo.

A 2-0 loss on the night in Sweden meant a 4-3 aggregate reverse as the Scottish champions fell at the final hurdle in their attempts to reach the group stages of Europe’s premier club competition for the second successive year.

Markus Rosenberg opened the scoring before half-time and Dedryck Boyata put through his own net, with both goals coming from poorly defended set-pieces at a fervent Swedbank Stadion.

But Deila was equally displeased with his team’s lack of composure in open play.

“I’m very, very disappointed. I think we had a very poor performance,” he told BT Sport.

“The whole team looked scared, nobody wanted the ball, we lost the ball in dangerous situations all the time.

“When we lose it in situations like that you get opened [up].

“We performed not even close to what we can do. We have played well in many, many, many games this season but we looked scared and very stressed.

“That’s my responsibility, I have to go through this, what happened, and learn from this. That is so important.

“We have to get better. We were close [to the Champions League] but when you have a loss like this we don’t deserve to get in there.”

Despite enduring an at times chastening evening, Celtic had reason to be aggrieved on the stroke of half-time when Nir Bitton had a goal ruled out – the officials awarding a free-kick to Malmo despite replays showing home defender Kari Arnason to have handled the ball before the Israeli midfielder converted.

Deila claimed not to have seen the incident clearly from the dugout and he was visibly crestfallen when shown replays during his television interview.

“Of course that’s handball,” he said. “That’s an important situation, of course. It’s a goal and also maybe a red card… I don’t know.

“I hadn’t seen it before now. That was terrible.”

Tue 25 Aug, 2015
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