3 things Celtic could have done differently in defeat to Copenhagen

Celtic are out of the Europa League following the surprise 3-1 defeat at the hands of Copenhagen tonight.

Neil Lennon’s team had an away goal in a 1-1 draw out in Denmark last week to take into this evening’s game.

But they were unable to make the most of it as they struggled against an organised Copenhagen defence – and an attack that took advantage of our mistakes.

Michael Santos opened the scoring on the night for the visitors, but Odsonne Edouard’s penalty pulled the Hoops back into the game.

That only lasted two minutes, however, as Pep Biel scored a decisive second for Copenhagen before Dame N’Doye added a third.

At the end of a very disappointing night, we look at three things Celtic could have done differently:

1 – Start Leigh Griffiths

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Considering how well Griffiths has been playing as part of a 3-5-2 formation used for the majority of 2020 by Neil Lennon, it seemed off that he was only on the bench for this. Edouard was barely involved in the play until Griffiths’ introduction in the 69th minute – and it’s probably no coincidence Celtic started to show more in the final third after his substitution. At times, Celtic looked like they were playing a 3-6-1 with both Tom Rogic and Mohamed Elyounoussi playing inside the pitch and many will be left wondering if that was the right call by Lennon.

2 – Earlier substitutions

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It took Lennon until the 69th minute to make his first and only change of the game. That was 16 minutes after Santos have Copenhagen the lead. In that 16 minutes, Celtic looked all over the place in their shape and displayed a real lack of composure on the ball – particularly between defence and midfield. Was it too late by the time Griffiths came on?

3 – More options on bench

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Perhaps the reason Lennon only went to his bench once was because of the lack of options on it. He had three full-backs in Boli Bolingoli, Jeremie Frimpong and Jonny Hayes – all unlikely to really change a game. Nir Bitton has been centre back cover for the majority of the last three years for Celtic. And Vakoun Issouf Bayo was unlikely to get a go with Griffiths already on the bench and ahead of him in the pecking order.

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