Ronny Deila will be left to rue a pair of individual errors as his side surrendered a two-goal lead against Turkish outfit Fenerbahce at Celtic Park in the UEFA Europa League group stages.
The home side raced out into a 2-0 lead courtesy of Leigh Griffiths and Kris Commons. But an erroneous back-pass from Efe Ambrose gifted the Turk's a route back into the game before Fernandao, scorer of the first, headed home minutes after the restart to salvage a point for the away side.
Ebb and flow
Celtic threatened two minutes in as James Forrest cannoned an effort inches wide of the mark.
The vistors responded with an opportunity of their own. Volkan Sen flashed an tantalising cross across the face of goal but Mikael Lustig was alert to the danger.
Robin van Persie’s influence was minimal as the game reached the quarter of the hour mark. So too was Nani, despite his myriad of flicks, yet to impose himself on the game.
James Forrest, in contrast, was a menace down the visitors’ right-hand side. A deft turn prompted a Raul Mereiles booking after the ex-Chelsea and Liverpool midfielder upended the nimble wide-man.
A quick free-kick almost engendered a Celtic opener. Forrest was released swiftly down the right before teeing up Lustig on the penalty spot. The defender’s strike was duly blocked.
Double trouble for the visitors
Celtic did, however, break the deadlock through Leigh Griffiths on 27 minutes. Lustig, an ever-present throughout the opening 45, directed a header goalwards before Griffiths found himself in acres of spaces at the far stick. The forward’s initial effort was denied, but he made no mistake with the rebound, firing his effort high into the roof of the net to send the Celtic faithful into raptures.
One soon became two when Forrest drove a sumptuous low-cross across the penalty area and into the onrushing Kris Commons. Celtic’s chief creator struck with conviction to compound the visitors misery and consolidate his side’s advantage.
Raul Meireles was then presented with an opportunity to halve the deficit when he arrived unmarked at the back, but the Portugal midfielder skewed his effort wide of the mark.
Fener gifted route back into proceedings
But the Turkish outfit were granted a lifeline when Efe Ambrose’s errant back-pass trickled through to substitute Fernandao who slid his effort under Craig Gordon.
Ambrose was yet again culpable for Fenerbahce’s equaliser minutes after the restart. Stemming from a corner, Fernandao, who profited from the defender’s complacency minutes before half-time, was allowed to dart across his line of sight and bullet his header past Gordon to restore parity.
Visitors crank up the pressure
The forward came close to grabbing his hat-trick when he was liberated behind the Celtic rearguard. Fortunately for Deila Gordon was vigilant to narrow the angle and force the substitute into clipping his effort over the bar.
Nani then threatened Gordon’s goal on 57 minutes with a dipping effort, before Diego forced the Celtic No.1 into a fine save with his legs.
Though Celtic’s influence atrophied, Forrest remained a potent force down the left, dovetailing efficiently with Keiran Tierney and testing Fabiano. Commons also drew fingertips from the goalkeeper minutes later.
Fabiano, though, was nearly left with egg on his face when he spilled a routine effort from Lustig. The away side survived.
Celtic seized control during the latter exchanges as Commons, again, went close via a Lustig cut-back.
Their efforts were in vain, however, as Vitor Pereira’s side clung on to record their first points of the campaign.