Copenhagen duo respond to another set-back ahead of Celtic meeting

By David Walton

February 25, 2020

Copenhagen duo Kalle Johnsson and Jens Stage weren’t pleased after seeing their side slip up yet again vs Silkeborg on Sunday.

The Danes will face off against Celtic on Thursday night in our crunch Europa League last-32 second leg encounter. The tie is leveled up at 1-1 after the first leg last week.

However, Copenhagen are on a poor run of form since returning from their winter break. Their 1-1 draw against Celtic in Denmark last week follows a dreadful 1-0 defeat at Esbjerg in their first competitive game back. Their point with Silkeborg, who are bottom of the Danish Superliga, compounded more misery onto them.

Copenhagen boss Stale Solbakken (Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)

And reacting to that one on the official Copenhagen website, here’s what goalkeeper Johnsson and attacker Stage had to say:

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Johnsson: “We just have to focus on the next match now and move on from this match, which after all was good. The result is, of course, disappointing, because we have to win, but we play well for long periods and create lots of chances, but get just didn’t put the balls in.

The sharpness was lacking at both ends, they also got too many counterattacks that gave them more big chances.”

Stage: “It’s a miserable feeling afterward because we should have won this match. We have a lot of chances to decide, but the bottom line is that it is only one point, and it’s just not good enough. It’s hard to explain why, but sometimes you win by scoring your only chance of the match and other times you only score one in ten chances.”

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Neil Lennon won’t be saying it to his players, but as supporters we’re entitled to think that Copenhagen should have very little chance of progressing on Thursday night.

At the moment they’re struggling to buy a win. It’s fair to say they’re going to need one to progress. A 2-2 score draw or higher would also see them through, but Celtic don’t look like conceding two goals to them at Celtic Park.

What was surprising on Thursday night was the lack of pace in Copenhagen’s side. Their goal came from us dallying on the ball around our own penalty area. They didn’t cut us open with any brilliance, and certainly didn’t use any pace to get into good areas.

Copenhagen manager Stale Solbakken (Lars Ronbog / FrontZoneSport via Getty Images)

Copenhagen relied on their power and tried to get crosses into our penalty box. Christopher Jullien, in particular, stood out massively for Celtic when they tried to up the tempo.

Therefore, at Parkhead – a venue where we’re so strong at and have been under Lennon – you struggle to see where Copenhagen’s chances will come from. The mood in their camp also doesn’t seem to be one that inspires confidence.

Even at this early stage, we really do look like firm favourites here.

Does their 1-1 draw with Silkeborg change anything for Celtic? Will it make Copenhagen more determined to make a success of the Europa League? Give us your verdict in our discussion forum below.