Celtic have had many famous European nights at Parkhead. Tonight was certainly not one of them as they went down 2-1 to Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Molde to stand on the brink of Europa League elimination.
The Manchester United legend masterminded Celtic’s downfall for the second time in a fortnight, although he was given a helping hand by this stunning opening goal from Mohammed Elyounoussi.
The Bhoys had two goals correctly disallowed for offside prior to Elyounoussi’s 22nd-minute strike, but equalised within four minutes as Kris Commons diverted Nir Bitton’s shot into the Molde net.
The Norwegians retook the lead before the break through Daniel Hestad, and Bitton’s red card in the second half helped them comfortably see out a victory which books their place in the last 32.
Molde are clear at the top of Group A with 10 points from four games, with Celtic bottom having failed to win any of their matches. Fenerbahce and Ajax, who drew 0-0 this evening, separate the teams.
Solskjaer has European pedigree as a player too, having scored the dramatic stoppage-time winner in United’s treble-clinching Champions League triumph in 1999 – one of his 119 goals for the Red Devils.
The 42-year-old moved into management with Molde in 2011 and helped them to back-to-back domestic titles before a failed stint at Cardiff City in which they were relegated from the Premier League.
He returned to Molde last month and celebrated with a 3-1 victory against Celtic, whose double defeat to the Norwegians leaves them with a mountain to climb to join Solskjaer’s boys in the knockout stages.
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