Rosenborg 0-1 Celtic: Scott Sinclair header sees Celtic close on Europa League last 32
Celtic won their first ever away game in the Europa League
By Charlotte Marsh
Last Updated: 30/11/18 9:43am
A header from Scott Sinclair gave Celtic a 1-0 win against Rosenborg in the Europa League on Thursday, and put them within a point of the last 32.
Sinclair headed home from a wonderful James Forrest cross in the 42nd minute and it proved to be enough for Celtic to take a vital three points, winning their first ever away game in the Europa League after 17 attempts in its current guise.
With Red Ball Salzburg also beating RB Leipzig 1-0 in Group B's other game, Celtic now need a point against Salzburg in two weeks' time to go through to the knockout rounds along with the Austrians.
Rosenborg - who won their 26th Norwegian league title at the weekend - exit the competition without yet registering a point and with one game to play against Leipzig.
Rosenborg: Hansen (7), Hedenstadt, Hovland (6), Reginiussen (6), Meling (7), Jensen (6), Trondsen (6), Konradsen (6), de Lanlay (6), Bendtner (5), Adegbenro (7).
Subs used: Denic (5), Vilhjalmsson (6), Levi (5).
Celtic: Gordon (6), Lustig (7), Boyata (6), Benkovic (7), Tierney (7), McGregor (7), Rogic (7), Christie (7), Forrest (8), Sinclair (7), Edouard (6).
Subs used: Griffiths (4), Gamboa (6), Brown (4).
Man of the match: James Forrest.
Celtic began the game well, with Kieran Tierney's cross just evading the incoming Tom Rogic at the far post inside six minutes, but it took slightly longer to test goalkeeper Andre Hansen. It was Rogic who was involved again in the 24th minute as Odsonne Edouard put a Forrest cross into his path, but Hansen got down low to push it away.
Rosenborg's best chance of the half came soon after as Yann-Erik de Lanlay muscled Sinclair off the ball before striding into the area. He fizzed a cross into the six-yard box but Nicklas Bendtner was unable to reach it at the back post.
Celtic made one change from the weekend with Tom Rogic coming in for Olivier Ntcham in the middle of the park.
Celtic went close again just after the hour mark as Forrest drove into the area before striking, but Hansen made himself big at the near post to push the ball behind for a corner.
And it was Forrest who had a big hand in the equaliser with three minutes of the first half to play. He bamboozled Tore Reginiussen over on the right-hand side of the box before lofting a cross towards the back post, where an unmarked Sinclair deservedly gave Celtic a half-time lead.
There were fewer chances in the second half, although Rosenborg should have had a man sent off in the 58th minute. Djordje Denic - who came on as a substitute at the end of the first half - clipped the feet of Tierney, having already been booked for an earlier foul on Forrest. However, he was let off with a warning from the referee.
The final 15 minutes saw a flurry of chances for Rosenborg. Some good defending from Forrest saw a Bendtner cross put out ahead of Matt Vilhjalmsson before headers from Reginiussen and Samuel Adegbenro also went wide.
But Celtic managed to keep their concentration and claim an important victory to see them on the cusp of the Europa League knockout rounds as well as making some history in the process.
- Rosenborg have failed to qualify from the group stages in each of their five Europa League campaigns.
- Celtic have only lost one of their 10 all-time meetings with Rosenborg in European competition (W7 D2), keeping six clean sheets in total.
- Rosenborg have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their 29 games in the Europa League, conceding 59 goals in the competition.
- Rosenborg failed to register a shot on target in both games against Celtic in the Europa League this season.
Man of the match - James Forrest
It was another sparkling performance from the winger, with the Rosenborg defenders often unable to stop him without committing a foul. He produced an absolutely sublime cross for the opening goal and also put a shift in at the back which was much needed at times.
He now has eight goals and two assists in his last nine games for club and country with the 27-year-old truly showing his talent.
It's a huge game for Celtic on Sunday as they take on Aberdeen in the Scottish League Cup final at Hampden Park. Their final Europa League fixture will be on Thursday, December 13 when they host FC Salzburg.