RB Leipzig manager Ralf Rangnick believes that it’s between them and Celtic for second place in the Europa League group.

Ahead of the game, Rangnick said: “It looks like this and Celtic Park will be decisive to finish second and qualify from the group.”

The German gaffer is essentially treating the two matches as knockout ties.

Learn from history to move forward

It was 15 years ago that Celtic last got the best of their German counterparts in Europe over two legs.

Martin O’Neill’s 2003 UEFA Cup finalists knocked out VfB Stuttgart over two legs on their way to the final in Seville.

Bobo Balde kept Stuttgart quiet in the first leg at Celtic Park. (Photo by Martin Rose/Bongarts/Getty Images)

The first leg at Celtic Park was one of the classic European nights as the hosts decisively won 3-1.

At the time Celtic Park was a fortress and for years it was only Barcelona who got the better of The Bhoys.

Stuttgart went a man down but a goal up early on but goals from Paul Lambert, Shaun Maloney and Stilyan Petrov sunk the Germans.

All Celtic had to do on the return leg was keep tight and play out the 90 minutes.

Instead, they went all out and scored twice in three minutes within the first 15 minutes.

Chris Sutton celebrates Celtic’s second with John Hartson. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty images)

Stuttgart got one back before half time, a consolation with Celtic’s three goal lead.

Celtic were never in really any danger of capitulating to the Germans until the last flurry of attacks.

After 75 minutes Alexander Hleb got another one back, then Michael Mutzel piled the pressure on by scoring in the 87th minute.

Rab Douglas had to show late heroics to come and clear a ball destined for a one-on-one not long after. They hung on, and Celtic got through on away goals.

What can Celtic take from this performance

This performance and two-legged mindset should play in the minds of Brendan Rodgers’ side. Even with a defeat, a goal or two away from home can make all the difference.

A similar performance tonight in Leipzig and there won’t be too many displeased. However, that’s only if the home fixture results in a comfortable Celtic win, which is also a tough ask.

Leipzig aren’t mugs and they certainly are no pushovers. However, if Celtic can channel the spirit of 2003, then they might be able to get a result.

Andreas Hinkel was a fan favourite for both Stuttgart and Celtic. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images

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