Celtic FC-HJK Helsinki. How we lived it

Celtic FC-HJK Helsinki. How we lived it
Hooper equalised with a tap-in.
Celtic FC
2 1
HJK Helsinki
Celtic FC: Forster;Matthews,Wanyama, Mulgrew, Izaguirre; Forrest, Brown, Ledley, Samaras (Lustig, min.87); Commons (Stokes, min.64); Hooper (McCourt, min.87).
HJK Helsinki: Wallén, Lahti, Lindström, Mannström, Sumusalo; Väyrynen, Sorsa, Schüller (Pohjanpalo, min.84), Perovuo, Savage; Mäkela (Sadik, min.60).
SCORE: 0-1, min.47, Schüller. 1-1, min.54, Hooper. 2-1, min.61, Mulgrew.
REFEREE: Miroslav Zelinka (CZE) showed a yellow card to Väyrynen (min.51), Sadik (min.60) and Samaras (min.69).
INCIDENTS: 1st leg of the Champions League 3rd qualifying round played at Celtic Park (Glasgow, Starthclyde). 55 000 spectators

FINAL Mixed feelings for Celtic. They won the game but this lead might not be enough to win the tie if they narrowly lose at Helsinki. The Finns have played a good game and will be happy after scoring a vital away goal. Celtic's season will suffer a massive blow in a week if they are knocked out, so Neil Lennon has plenty of work to do during this week. The Bhoys will now play their first SPL game on Saturday against Aberdeen, one of the strongest teams in this year's Scottish League. Goodbye Vavel Bhoys, we will be with this minute by minute programme next Wednesday, hopefully to explain Celtic's qualification for the next round. See you soon!

90+3 Final whistle.

90+2 Matthews low cross is sent to corner by the Helsinki defender.

90+1 Great pass by Mulgrew which nearly causes a goal, but Wallén collects the ball just before James Forrest touches it.

89'  Three minutes of added time.

87' McCourt tries one of his mazy runs, he forces another corner for Celtic. It is crossed, but there's no danger for Helsinki's defense.

86' Brown's shot is saved by the goalkeeper, corner for Celtic. They are pushing up now. Hooper and Samaras are off, McCourt and Mikael Lustig are on.

85' Great play down the right flank by James Forrest, he plays a one two with Ledley but he crashes with Gary Hooper and Celtic lose the ball...

83' Helsinki will make a change soon. Celtic are looking for the third goal, but they have been using the same tools too much. Pohjanpalo is in for Schüller, Helsinki's scorer today.

81' Brown passes the ball from Mulgrew, the move wins Celtic a corner after the Scottish centre-back's cross rebounded on a Helsinki player.

80' The referee marks a foul at the edge of the box. It's ideal for a right footed player.

78' Mulgrew tries a shot with his right food after dribbling his marker, he shoots out left.

76' Brown shoots from the edge of the area, his left-footed low shot goes out right.

74' Väyrynen is off, Okkonen replaces him.

71' Samaras almost scores after receiving a headed pass from Stokes, but the keeper collects the ball easily.

69' Samaras receives a yellow card after fouling a Helsinki player and showing anger to the referee.

67' Helsinki close to scoring... in their own net. Their defender deflected a Forrest cross, but no Celtic player can use this clear opportunity though.

63' Izaguirre's cross is headed by Commons. Out wide. That's his last involvement in the game, he is substituted by Anthony Stokes.

62' Sadik receives a yellow card. Celtic are in front now and will look to add some goals now. Commons right-footed shot goes just wide after some good play by Celtic on the left flank. Some "feel good" momentum for the Bhoys after a shaky start.

61' CEEEEEEELTIIIIIC SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOREEEE Charlie Mulgrew heads a fine Commons corner to put Celtic ahead. 2-1 for the Bhoys!

59' Commons' shot is deflected to corner. Celtic claimed a penalty on Hooper during the build up. Makela out, Sadik in.

57' Helsinki miss a glorious chance after two of their strikers were just in front of Forster's goal. Some rebound favours Celtic this time.

55' The goals have helped Celtic improve their game, they are showing more desire and pace now.

54' CELTIC SCOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOORE!!! GARY HOOOOOOPEEER After some clever play by Izaguirre, Samaras sends a low cross that finds the English hitman who scores with a good touch. 1-1

51' Forrest crosses after some good play by Celtic involving Brown and Commons. Wallén parries away and the ball is out of danger. Meanwhile, Helsinki's number 16 receives a yellow card for a rash tackle on Ledley.

48' Immediate reaction from Celtic. Kris Commons strikes from the edge of the box and the ball HITS THE POST.

47'  HELSINKI SCORE! Disaster start for Celtic. Helsinki score after some good passing and a bad rebound involving Forster and Wanyama.

46' And the game has started again! An offside is given against Helsinki. Fraser Forster will shoot the ball up the park.

20:43. Some more comments just before the second half start. What would the Vavel Bhoys change if they were Neil Lennon?

"The manager? :)"  @A77Y1690

"to be honest 0-0 is a good result, I would look to get Commons in place to have a dig from 20yards or so, as they are sharper. "@higster7

20:42. Celtic will need a more fluent game if they want to succeed and score some goals during the second half.

20:33. The Bhoys on Celtic_VAVEL have shared with us some of their thoughts.

"Celtic look rusty" @MarkMcCole

"Commons flattering to deceive again! Think we are going wide too early and losing own space" "Shape too flat. Not enough depth when on ball "@gtsmiler

" starting to look fresher than us.. But that was expected... "@Liam_S_89

45+2' It's the end of the first 45 minutes. 45 minutes where Celtic has failed to test Helsinki's goalkeeper bar a Ledley's shot. Neil Lennon's men will have to up their game if they want to obtain a good lead in this first leg. Helsinki are playing well given their possibilities, they could have been ahead if their strikers had been a bit more mobile.

45' Forrest fins good space to shoot, but his shot finds the Helsinki defender's head.

44' Helsinki look the fresher side of the two. Celtic need the half time to relax a little bit.

40' Joe Ledley forces a corner after some fast counter attacking display by Celtic.

38' Celtic attacks are too slow and the visitors can deffend comfortably. Helsinki, on the other hand, are moving the ball more quickly when they are attacking, and that's causing Celtic some problems. They lack some firepower up front though.

36' An unmarked Helsinki player heads the ball after the corner's delivery. The ball goes over the bar. Celtic could have been punished there.

35' An unmarked Helsinki player shots from 25 yards, Forster parries the ball away.

33' Celtic players aren't creating any chances will the Parkhead's faithful tries to sing a bit.

30' Celtic have problems in terms of creativity. They are being far too predictable at the moment.

29' Celtic costless kick in a dangerous position. At the right of the penalty box. Commons deliver isn't headed by anyone, it was a good cross though.

25' Celtic are having more problems now. Helsinki's wingers are always beating the defenders and can create danger. Spme individual mistakes are being commited by the Celtic's players too.

22' Izaguirre loses a ball just in front of the Celtic box. Helsinki almost punish Celtic but Matthews sends the ball to corner. After some bad delivery, the ball is still in Helsinki's power. They finally lose the ball after Savage's heavy touch.

20' Celtic's captain is fouled. Freekick for Celtic. The play ends with Ledley's fierce left-footed shot. Wallén sends it to corner. Celtic are pressing more now.

19' Helsinki's manager is in a quite mood. His team hasn't had many trouble so far.

17' Samaras makes a good run down the left. His low pass is send to corner by Wallén. Corner for Celtic. Bad delivery is caught by a Celtic player down the right, but his cross fails to find a team mate.

15' Good chance for Celtic! Forrest low cross isn't shooted by neither Hooper or Commons, but Ledley finally sends a good shot that goes out, at the left of the post.

14' Helsinki are trying to have the ball more now, trying to desesperate the home fans who want their team to create chances.

13' Samaras sends a good cross that is headed by James Forrest. The Scottish international's header goes out wide... No trouble for Helsinki at all.

11' Helsinki's long pass from the defense reaches Makela, who is dispossed by Wanyama after a strong tackle.

10' Commons cross can't find a Celtic player, but Celtic remain in possession.

9' Izaguirre's right-footed cross goes out after a string of passes between the Celtic's players.

7' Commons costless kick's delivery isn't the best and the Finn goalkeeper collects it easily.

6' Fraser Forster catches the ball after a Helsinki's midfielder long pass.

5'  HJK Helsinki are deffending with all their men. Celtic will have to rely on Forrest speed and Samaras nice touches on the flanks.

3' Celtic want to have a lot of the ball, and they are moving it to both flanks, where they pretend to be more dangerous.

2' Great Commons' delivery but Celtic fail to impress with a good shot.

1' The game has already started. Celtic were close after Hooper's shot. Good start fofr the Bhoys.

19:41. The Celtic fans start singing "You'll never walk alone". They will be hoping for another magical European night. Celtic's players will need their 12th man at its best tonight.

19:40. Meanwhile, Scotsman Michael Jamieson has won a silver medal. The Celtic fans watching on the big screen shown at Parkhead bursted into applause.

19:35. "It means a lot for the players and for the club." Neil Lennon says, Celtic really NEED the win tonight. Another failure would be a disaster. HJK Helsinki are currently second in the Finnish league. Away from home, they have won 1, drawn 1 and lost 3 in the Veikkausliiga.

19:30.  An example...

19:29. Despite playing with only one striker, Celtic have enough firepower to cause the Finns a problem.

19:08. The following players are left on the bench: Sahlgren, Kansikas, Okkonen, Hakanpää, Sadik, Pelvas, Pohjanpalo.

19:06. The Finns will play with former Hearts striker Juho Mäkela up front. Gambian forward Demba Savage will help him on the attack duties. Lineup: Wallén, Lahti, Lindström, Mannström, Sumusalo; Väyrynen, Sorsa, Schüller, Perovuo, Savage; Mäkela.

18:58. Irish hitman Anthony Stokes will start on the bench along with Israeli midfielder Kayal. Subs: Zaluska, Stokes, McCourt, Kayal, Lustig, Rogne, F. Twardzik.

18:54. Celtic's lineup. Stokes is finally on the bench and Kris Commons has been declared ok after passing a fitness test. Neil Lennon has chosen a 4-4-1-1: Forster, Matthews, Wanyama, Mulgrew, Izaguirre; Forrest, Brown, Ledley, Samaras; Commons; Hooper.

18:49.  HJK Helsinki's manager, Antti Muurinen, has said that Celtic won't surprise them, while he has added that pressure might play in his team's favour.

   Muurinen thinks his team can cause an upset... if they can play the way he wants. Source: BBC Sport

"I told the players that we didn't come all the way here to be afraid - 95% of our time should be spent talking about how we play and five per cent about the way they play," he said.

"There is no point in being in sport if you don't believe in victory.

"Of course we recognise that Celtic are a very strong, powerful team, but we have to believe that we have a chance to win, even if there is a great imbalance between the teams.

"It will be an exciting experience for us.

"We are not expecting any surprises from Celtic. Their tactics will be to crush us, which the fans expect.

"So I can expect the first 15 to 20 minutes to be the most important part of the game."

18:49. Meanwhile, the visitors didn't came to Glasgow on a holiday trip. They will try to cause an upset despite knowing their chances of progressing are (apparently) little. Helsinki don't look like fierce opposition, but then, so didn't Sion, Utrecht or Sporting Braga. Juho Makela, the former Hearts striker, is now playing his trade with the Finnish team, and he thinks that if his team can hold on a bit at the start of the game, they will be on the right road to getting something positive.


                                                                        Makela (center) holds no fear. Source: BBC Sport

"It should be a great occasion, but the guys are calm and the atmosphere is focused.

"We need to avoid errors, especially at the start of the game, as Celtic will try to apply pressure early on. If we can do that, our chances will improve.

"We need a perfect performance."

18:47.  Scottish football, one more time, need their teams to perform well in Europe. Motherwell lost the first tie yesterday at Fir Park 0-2 agains Greek giants Panathinaikos. Dundee United will play Dynamo Moskva on Thursday while Hearts are still waiting for their rivals. Once again, Celtic look like Scotland's only chance of recovering some pride. Rangers disaster compells Celtic to have a good run in Europe in order to balance the lost financial revenue their rivals meant. So there's a lot to play for today at Parkhead.

18:45. Here we are, ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls. Welcome to Celtic’s first oficial match this season. It’s been a while since the Bhoys played a game that meant something, given the fact they had the league almost wrapped up since February. This first game is really important though, Celtic need to beat HJK Helsinki convincingly if they want to have chances of qualifying to the next round. The Bhoys have to walk two massive, difficult and exciting steps just before being in the group stages for the first time in four years. It’s been a while but Neil Lennon’s men hope to show their faithful that they are Champions League class.