It was a strange post match feeling. The expectancy to win coupled with a defeat left me feeling deflated yet satisfied at securing a last 32 spot in European football’s other tournament.
Anderlecht started the match better. Celtic seemed unable to produce anything similar to the Belgians until the second half.
They also provided Anderlecht with the winning goal. Jozo Simunovic’s header beat Craig Gordon meaning the Belgians failed to score against Celtic home and away.
Given their seeding and player budget that has to be a disappointing result for Anderlecht. Celtic on the other hand have beaten the odds.
Regardless of the result, I’m pleased Celtic are still in European competition. For two more matches at least.
Being unseeded means a tough draw but to be fair Celtic will be up against it anyway. It would be nice to get a run in the Europa League for experience if nothing else.
I’m certainly not expecting Celtic to win the tournament. This team has potential but there are a number of areas that still require attention.
With any luck those areas have already been identified and will be addressed in due course. January would be a good time to start.
Celtic don’t require major surgery. Brendan Rodgers does need to consider his defensive frailties, the loss of Paddy Roberts and improving Celtic on the European stage.
Any departures are unlikely until the summer. Next season will be tougher to get into the Champions League so investing now for a possible run in the Europa League would be good preparation.
For now, we can breathe easy for a few months. European football will be waiting for us after Christmas.