Celtic's Europa League opponents AIK knocked off top spot

By Connor Gordon

August 19, 2019

AIK Stockholm are going to need to do a lot better against Celtic on Thursday.

The Swedes were pushed from the top spot after their Sunday afternoon defeat against Kalmar. Djurgarden go first in the league with a game in hand against Rikard Norling’s side. However, the narrow defeat is even worse than on paper upon proper investigation.

AIK Stockholm face Celtic upheaval

The Swedish champions are looking to progress into the group stages of the Europa League.

Kalmar celebrate goal at AIK Stockholm on Sunday afternoon. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Celtic’s morale is low after their Champions League exit and extra time win against Dunfermline.

Many Glaswegian eyes were on AIK as they faced Kalmar in the Allsvenskan. The champs were set to go back on top of the league with a confidence boosting win before a trip to Scotland. However, there was a spanner in the works as the away side two points off relegation got the victory.

Alexander Jakobsen opened the scoring on nine minutes before Fidan Aliti gave Kalmar a comfortable lead.

After the break, AIK pulled one back with Tarik Elyounoussi but were unable to find an equaliser.

AIK are dejected at full time following their defeat at home to Kalmar. (Photo by Michael Campanella/Getty Images)

Eloyounoussi’s goal may seem even more irrelevant as he is banned for the first leg at Parkhead.

Kalmar dominated the game with more shots and possession than the home side.

Celtic must be wary of AIK threat

Despite the defeat, we can’t forget that the Hoops shouldn’t be counting their chickens.

Cluj were a beatable team yet a combination of managerial decisions and a poor transfer strategy mean that The Bhoys were out.

Neil Lennon reacts to Dunfermline goal on Saturday. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Dunfermline was another game Celtic should have stormed ahead but needed extra time.

Both teams are looking at Thursday as an early boot up the backside in the early season.

Neil Lennon must make sure that Celtic’s name is in the pot for next Friday’s draw. Failure to do so will only see calls for his resignation or sacking get even louder.