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Celtic’s European adventure are over for another year, after their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Zenit saw the club crash out of the Europa League 3-1 on aggregate.
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers made no changes from the team that played in the first leg for second leg, hoping for a similar performance.
His side made an awful start to the game and they saw their first leg advantage end after only eight minutes of the match, when Jozo Simunovic left Branislav Ivanovic unmarked at a corner and the former Chelsea man headed home.
Roberto Mancini’s side took the lead in the match in the 27th minutes, Daler Kuzyaev’s long-range effort did have some dip and swerve on it but Dorus de Vries between the sticks should have dealt with it much better.
Zenit went 3-0 on the hour, when Aleksandr Kokorin bundled the ball home from close range, as Lustig was posted missing again.
Celtic had some pressure late on the game but they never seriously troubled Zenit who eased into the last 16 draw on the tournament on Friday.
Here, we look at three things we garnered in Celtic’s win/draw/loss against Zenit.
Dorus de Vries had another shocker for Celtic between the sticks in Europe, on the back of seven goals he conceded against Barcelona was at his hapless worse for the second goal by Zenit, as the Dutchman couldn’t deal with a host with a bit of swerve on it.
Rodgers should consider resting the 37-year-old senior player for his side’s vital Scottish league match against Aberdeen on Sunday, there is no guarantee that de Vries will be able to cope in that game.
Lustig has been a superb option for Celtic, but the 31-year-old’s best days look far behind him and he turned in a poor performance against Zenit.
The years of Lustig’s injuries he has seem to have finally caught on him, and it wouldn’t be surprising if his appearances were few and far between with regards to the rest of the season.
With Anthony Ralston and Cristian Gamboa both available to take over, the Swedish’s days as a mainstay in the team shold be over.
Rodgers will be under serious pressure probably the first time in his spell as Celtic manager. His side crashing out of Europe that easily, coupled with poor domestic performance, makes Celtic Sunday’s trip to third placed Aberdeen a must-win game for the Norther Irish boss.
A victory over the Dons and the pressure will be off for a few weeks at least. However, should the Pittodrie side win and cut the gap at the top of the league to only six points, then the tension will build, especially if Rangers win on Saturday to cut the gap to six points.