Why it's dangerous to assume Rosenborg tie is already over

By David Walton

July 30, 2018

There can be no denying the lead the club established in the first leg, but Celtic’s tie against Rosenborg is still alive despite popular opinion.

The Hoops wrapped up an impressive 3-1 win against the Norwegian champions last Tuesday in their second qualifying round first-leg, courtesy of two goals from Odsonne Edouard and an Olivier Ntcham strike.

It’s left confidence sky-high in the Celtic camp post-match, with supporters already talking about what to expect from AEK Athens in the third round.

(Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, it’s vital that the players remember that the job is nowhere near done after racking up the first-leg lead. Birger Meling’s away goal has given Rosenborg hope and they certainly cannot be underestimated on Wednesday night in Trondheim.

Not seeing the threat of the Norwegians going forward cost Celtic in the first 30 minutes against Rosenborg, with a couple of openings occurring before and after Melling’s strike.

Had Celtic taken a clean sheet, then things would’ve been very different. It would’ve meant had Brendan Rodgers’ side scored in Trondheim, Rosenborg would’ve needed five goals. Instead, they simply need two without reply.

It’s not as if Celtic haven’t been used to away calamities in recent years either. Against Astana last season, a monumental botch saw Celtic almost surrender a 5-0 lead that they took from Parkhead to Kazakhstan. Celtic ultimately saved face in the tie, but it was a reminder of past away despairs.

(Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

The Hoops have also suffered seven-goal defeats in the group stages away from home in back-t0-back years, and have a consistent record of losing early goals away from home.

Whilst Celtic seem to have been patched up in terms of away-day horror shows under Rodgers, they’re still capable of a disaster on occasion. Zenit knocking the Parkhead side out of the Europa League in a 3-0 drubbing in Russia showed that.

There remains a fragility to Celtic away from home in Europe, and whilst this tie against Rosenborg is very much in their hands, it’s by no means over.