🏆 Conference League: Celtic with a big task ahead; Foxes ease to victory | OneFootball

🏆 Conference League: Celtic with a big task ahead; Foxes ease to victory | OneFootball

Icon: OneFootball


Padraig Whelan·17 February 2022

🏆 Conference League: Celtic with a big task ahead; Foxes ease to victory

Article image:🏆 Conference League: Celtic with a big task ahead; Foxes ease to victory

The first knockout round of the Europa Conference League took place on Thursday night, with eight teams aiming to book their place in the last 16.

This is what went down.

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Celtic in trouble against Norwegian champions

Scorers: Maeda 79′; Espejord 6′, Pellegrino 55′, Vetlesen 81′

Celtic’s post-Christmas woes in Europe continued at Parkhead against a well-organised Bodø/Glimt side, who handed the hosts their first defeat in three months despite not playing a competitive fixture since December.

After a dominant start, Celtic were caught on the hop from a neat move on the edge of their area, allowing Runar Esbejord to open the scoring against the run of play with his first goal for the club, poking past Joe Hart.

But despite a good response to that setback, the Hoops failed to create any real opportunities of note before the interval, at which they trailed and they were then punished again at the back shortly after the break when Amahl Pellegrino was found unmarked at the back post to score after an out-of-sorts Greg Taylor was beaten too easily on the left flank.

The Bhoys appeared to give themselves hope ahead of the second leg when an exceptional cross from Josip Juranović was met by a glancing Daizen Maeda header with 12 minutes remaining, only to concede instantly when a Hugo Vetlesen strike looped over Joe Hart with the aid of a massive deflection to take the air out of a revitalised Celtic Park.

It leaves the Scottish Premiership leaders with a huge task inside the Arctic Circle next week as they bid to win a European knockout stage tie for the first time since 2004.

Leicester put one foot in the last 16

Scorers: Ndidi 23′, Barnes 49′, Daka 54′, Dewsbury-Hall 74′; Hammershøy-Mistrati 45′

A long overdue Leicester win saw them take a massive step towards the last 16 of the Conference League with a comfortable victory over Randers at the King Power Stadium.

They started stronger, with Patson Daka twice going close in the early exchanges before Wilfried Ndidi put them ahead midway through the half after an incisive move on the left of the area following a corner ended with the midfielder steering the ball into the far corner.

But despite having openings for more goals, the Foxes were surprisingly pegged back on the stroke of half-time when Vito Hammershøy-Mistrati was picked out with a low cross from the right and diverted his effort into the corner.

That parity only lasted into the break as Leicester retook the lead shortly after the restart as Randers were guilty of overplaying on the edge of their box and then failing to clear when it entered the area, allowing Harvey Barnes to find the net.

And with their tails up, the home side added another as they set about killing the tie off, Daka instinctively finishing from close range after a Youri Tielemans effort was parried straight onto his laces before Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall added a fourth 20 minutes later to all but book his side’s place in the next round.

As well as putting Leicester on the brink of progression, the result also sees them pick up their first win in five weeks.

Other results

Already qualified

  1. Roma, Rennes, Feyenoord, Copenhagen, AZ, LASK, Basel, Gent