Copenhagen 1-1 Celtic was the scoreline tonight, but it could’ve been so much worse.
With the minutes ticking away in Denmark, a corner came into the Celtic penalty area that Ryan Christie handled un unfortunate fashion.
The referee had a quick look at the VAR monitor at the side of the pitch before giving Copenhagen the penalty. However, it was what happened after it that could prove costly in the second leg. Christie was flashed a yellow card, which means he’s now picked up three bookings in the Europa League.
That means that he’ll now miss the second-leg against Copenhagen at Parkhead. This comes after yellow cards picked up against Rennes both home and away in the group stage.
UEFA regulations unfortunately state that three bookings lead to a one-match suspension (UEFA, page 45). Therefore, Neil Lennon will have a decision to make for the return leg.
A chance for Rogic? Or a formation change?
Christie’s suspension opens up an intriguing question – what does Lennon do?
The obvious change would perhaps be for Tom Rogic to come in and be given his shot. Then again, Rogic has only played 25 minutes of action in the Europa League this season. In addition to that, he’s only started one match since the return from the winter break (Transfermarkt).
Perhaps the more realistic option, however, would be for Lennon to switch back to a 3-5-2. The back four tonight still didn’t do much to protect the flanks, so we would be as well switching back to the three and going for it at Parkhead.
What that would mean is that Leigh Griffiths would likely return in Christie’s place. That, of course, depends on whether the striker would be fit or not, but Odsonne Edouard could do with a partner for the second leg.
Regardless, Lennon doesn’t have the option of using Ryan again. He will, however, be available for the last-16 if we finish the job at Celtic Park.