Celtic crash out of Europe as Ciro Immobile seals Lazio victory

Ciro Immobile reels away in celebration after scoring the first of his two goals on Tuesday evening

Celtic crashed out of Europe for the season after a late double by super substitute Ciro Immobile gave Lazio a 2-0 Champions League win in Rome.

The Scots went into the make-or-break game with one point from four Group E matches but gave as good as they got for most of the game before the home side’s veteran attacker struck in the 82nd and 85th minute to sink the Scottish champions.

To rub salt in the Celtic wounds they were awarded a penalty by Halil Umut Meler in added time for a push on substitute Oh Hyeon-gyu but it was overturned when Var intervened and sent the referee to the pitchside monitor for another look.

Celtic remain bottom of the section and cannot catch Lazio, Atlético Madrid or Feyenoord. Brendan Rodgers’ side play the Dutch in their final tie at home next month but that will be their European swansong for another season.

Celtic travelled to Rome knowing they needed a win to keep hope of progression in Europe alive. Rodgers had stressed the importance of keeping 11 players on the field after having three players sent off in their two away games – Gustaf Lagerbielke and Odin Thiago Holm in the 2-0 defeat against Feyenoord and Daizen Maeda in the first half of their 6-0 thrashing in Madrid, with the latter and Luis Palma suspended.

Right-back Alistair Johnston, midfielder Paulo Bernardo and veteran winger James Forrest returned against a Lazio side whose coach Maurizio Sarri was under some pressure after defeat by bottom side Salernitana at the weekend saw them drop to 11th in Serie A.

The visitors made a decent fist of the first half without threatening too much, although after just four minutes Lazio keeper Ivan Provedel had to deal with a drive from Hoops striker Kyogo Furuhashi.

However, the best chance of the first half fell to Lazio’s Brazil international Felipe Anderson, who missed the target with a close-range header from a Matteo Guendouzi cross which ought to have tested Celtic goalkeeper Joe Hart.

Furuhashi almost capitalised on some Lazio indecision in the penalty area between Provedel and defender Mario Gila before the Italian side got the ball to safety.

Both sides enjoyed spells of possession but neither goalkeeper was properly tested again before the break.

Lazio started the second half with increased tempo but in the 49th minute Furuhashi flashed a shot across the far post on a Celtic break before Yang Hyun-jun headed a Forrest delivery back across goal trying to find Furuhashi when he might have tried to get it on target.

Meanwhile, Taty Castellanos twice headed over the bar at the other end and Gustav Isaksen squeezed a shot past the far post after a clever break into the Celtic box.

Immobile and Pedro Rodriguez came on for Anderson and Castellanos with Forrest making way for Mikey Johnston with striker Oh soon coming on for Bernardo to support Furuhashi.

The game began to heat up at both ends.

Lazio captain Luis Alberto lofted a shot over the bar with 10 minutes remaining but when Isaken’s drive was deflected into the path of Immobile he gleefully knocked it past Hart.

Minutes later, the Italy international outmuscled Liam Scales, turned inside Cameron Carter-Vickers and slotted in from close range again.

There was more drama in the three added minutes when Celtic were awarded a penalty for a Patric push on Oh but after being directed to his monitor, the Turkish official changed his mind and a chance of a consolation was gone.

Now, it is time again for Celtic to reflect on another European disappointment.

07:39 PM GMT

Full time: Lazio 2 Celtic 0

Ciro Immobile came off the bench to add some world-class striking talent to a mediocre match and settle the game. Celtic are out of Europe with only the dead rubber against Feyenoord at home to come. One point from five games and a goal difference of -11. Lazio were vulnerable before Immobile came on but Celtic lacked the quality to exploit it.

07:36 PM GMT

Referee rescinds the penalty

And hence Patric’s yellow card as well.

07:36 PM GMT

The referee is told to go to the monitor

For a second look. There was definite contact but Oh made a massive meal of it.

07:34 PM GMT

Celtic penalty being checked by Var

For Patric’s shove in Oh’s back as he went up for a header which allowed Provedel to catch it without challenge.

07:33 PM GMT

90+2 min: Lazio 2 Celtic 0

A draw would have done Celtic no good so they had to make themselves vulnerable on the break. The damage was already done in Madrid and Rotterdam.

07:32 PM GMT

90 min: Lazio 2 Celtic 0

What can Celtic blame themselves for? Nothing save from being shown yet again the difference a world-class striker makes to any side. Immobile is the decider tonight. It’s as simple as that.

07:30 PM GMT

88 min: Lazio 2 Celtic 0

A rash of substitutions follow the goals. Too many to keep track.

07:26 PM GMT


Lazio 2 Celtic 0 (Immobile) Lazzari scoops a pass up the inside-right. Immobile challenges Scales for it. Scales hits the deck, claiming a foul but there’s no flag or whistle and Immobile controls the ball with a velvety touch then diddles Hart with a wiggle before slotting a left-foot shot in at the near post when Hart was trying to cover the more exposed part of the goal. What a finisher. What a player.

07:23 PM GMT


Lazio 1 Celtic 0 (Immobile)  Cometh the hour cometh that man again. He timed his predatory run to perfection to exploit Carter-Vickers’ deflection off Isaksen’s shot. Immobile crept in round the back and judged where the ball would land and then finished with a thumping shot from seven yards that gave Hart no chance.

07:23 PM GMT

82 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Lazzari hares down the right and pings a pass across the 18-yard line. Immobile dummies it and Luis Alberto fires over the bar.

07:22 PM GMT

81 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Oh earns a free-kick on halfway when Patric barges him over as he leapt for a header. ‘It’s a grand old team to play for’ drowns out the home fans momentarily.

07:20 PM GMT

79 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Yang is cautioned for a foul as he tried to cash in on Luis Alberto’s flaky pass.

07:19 PM GMT

76 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Yang, who has shown his true worth this half, feeds the ball in to the box from the right to Oh who spins and shoots from an angle of about 30 degrees ... into the shins of a defender and behind. Yang slips when trying to take the ball back to the byline from the short corner. 

O’Riley was booked for the skirmish below:

O'Riley fouls Rovella
O'Riley fouls Rovella - FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images)

07:14 PM GMT

74 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

First sight of goal for the great Immobile on the end of a deep free-kick from the right but his half-volley hits the defender. Would have been goal of the season had he knocked it in from that angle to the left of the penalty spot.

07:12 PM GMT

72 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Oh latches on to a pass to feet down the inside left but thumps his low shot from 22 yards straight at Provedel again.

07:11 PM GMT

70 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Celtic switch to 4-4-2 by sending on Oh ⇢ Paulo Bernardo just in time for a corner on the left once Celtic broke the mini-siege with O’Riley’s darting run that caused Provedel to fly-kick a back-pass behind him. Mikey Johnston takes the corner and Carter-Vickers gets up to meet it but flashes his header straight at Provedel

07:09 PM GMT

68 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Lazio are starting to pen Celtic in their half and there is no out ball. It’s not Kyogo’s game to hold it up but soemone needs to if they are going to relieve the pressure.

Marusic cuts in off the left on to his weaker right foot and cloths his shot over the bar.

07:07 PM GMT

66 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Castellanos ⇢ Immobile. The talisman also came on when Sarri sent Pedro on. Castellanos did well for Girona last year but has been rank tonight.

07:06 PM GMT

64 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Mikey Johnston starts with a couple of electric runs down the inside-left, provoking a bit of panic even if he loses control as he enters the box. Surprised it was Forrest who made way but there’s no doubt Mikey’s dribbling is far more exciting to watch.

07:04 PM GMT

62 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Both sides make a change:

Mikey Johnston ⇢ Forrest

Pedro ⇢ Felipe Anderson.

07:03 PM GMT

61 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Celtic are unpicked after Scales failed to cash in and they are pushed back on the break. Isaksen is played down the left but drills his shot wide of the right post, by inches only.

07:02 PM GMT

59 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Celtic break slickly up the right with Yang but his whipped cross is put behind for a corner which Celtic take short. McGregor comes short to receive the ball and then bends a fine cross towards the back post. Scales mistimes his jump and wastes a glorious opportunity.

Callum McGregor gesticulates
McGregor leads his troops - FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images

06:58 PM GMT

57 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

McGregor robs Luis Alberto 25 yards from the Celtic goal but they can’t get out as Lazio press energetically. He is forced back towards the right corner flag but gets out to offload. The release pass up to Forrest, though, is picked off. Where’s Paulo Bernardo?

06:56 PM GMT

54 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Guendouzi waves his arms at the crowd, asking for more volume, when he earns a corner with a dogged run up the right. Luis Alberto whips the outswinger towards the penalty spot where it’s met by an unmarked Castellanos who makes a proper dog’s dinner of it, smacking his free header over the bar. You can imagine Brian Clough calling a miss that easy by a centre-forward ‘a disgrace’, as he famously did in that Derby documentary.

06:53 PM GMT

52 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Another header from Yang but this one was not as effective. He had stolen in round the back of Marusic to meet Forrest’s arcing cross but, fearing the angle was too tight, decided to nod it back across the six-yard box and just behind Furuhashi. Could he have snuck a header in at the near post? I don’t think so. Provedel had scrambled across.

06:51 PM GMT

50 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Good chance for Celtic and it was all set up by Yang winning a header 30 yards out to knock the ball to O’Riley. The Denmark midfielder triggered a jinking run towards the box and, when he faced up his centre-half, slid the ball to Furuhashi on the right and the Japan striker whistled a shot through Mario Gila’s legs with his laces and just past the foot of the left post.

06:48 PM GMT

48 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

But they can’t hold on to the ball in their own half and Lazio burst down the left. Diligent defensive work from Yang bails out Johnston who had his hands full jockeying Felipe Anderson. West Ham’s one-time record signing was poised to sprint past him until Yang blindsided him.

06:46 PM GMT

46 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

No changes as Lazio kick off. Rovella jumps into Paulo Bernardo and Celtic have a free-kick.

06:44 PM GMT

From the TNT Sports studio

Lazio are there for the taking, say Neil Lennon and Owen Hargreaves who also both praise Celtic’s defence and patience. They also believe that Matt O’Riley has to get on the ball more and use his range of passing to bring Yang into the game and pepper that inside-right channel in which Furuhashi loves to roam.

06:35 PM GMT

Half-time verdict

A half of generally poor quality with two fairly evenly matched teams except for Luis Alberto who has more guile and drive as a playmaker than anyone in the opposition. Forrest down the left and the ball over the top for Furuhashi are Celtic’s best weapons but they have to be crisper and more precise with their passing. Yang hasn’t done enough but the defence has handled the counters solidly. A fit Immobile, though, and they may have been behind.

Lazio's Luis Alberto
Luis Alberto tries to pull the strings - FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images

06:32 PM GMT

Half-time: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

None of this marathon stoppage time in Europe. The referee blows his whistle bang on 45 minutes ... not that there have been and injuries.

06:31 PM GMT

44 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Rovella, on loan from Juventus, has another long shot, about the third. If I failed to mention the previous ones it was because they were hopeless. This one deserves mention as it’s even worse. He slices it with his left from 30 yards when Castellanos and Luis Alberto were better placed and the ball swerves crazily out to the corner flag.

06:29 PM GMT

42 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Lazio pick off that forward pass and move it quickly up the left with Guendouzi, Felipe Anderson and Luis Alberto combining but Johnston gets back to turn the cross behind. Luis Alberto takes the corner once more and bends it into the side-netting.

06:27 PM GMT

40 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

John Hartson is praising Celtic for their patient passing at the back. And he is right but they haven’t got the acceleration right when they finally play it forward.

06:25 PM GMT

38 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Hart picks off a long range effort from Luis Alberto. The former Liverpool man has the ambition but hasn’t brought his shooting boots tonight ... the ball Barnes-Wallises into Hart’s midriff as he stoops to gather.

06:22 PM GMT

35 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

The referee has had enough of Celtic’s rash of niggly fouls and decides to book Johnston for a foul on Felipe Andersen ... except this time he won the ball. He was damned for being off his feet because the tackle was a good one.

Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers asks for more - FILIPPO MONTEFORTE/AFP via Getty Images

06:19 PM GMT

33 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Forrest and Taylor combine to earn a throw high on the left but send the ball, under Lazio’s press, all the way back to Hart.

06:18 PM GMT

31 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Hart races off his line to pick off Rovella’s dinked pass into the six-yard box from the D. Scales was shielding it but Hart still needed to be sharp to stop Castellanos telescoping out his right leg to hook in a shot.

06:17 PM GMT

29 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

From the free-kick Carter-Vickers sends it over the top of the inside-right channel looking for Kyogo’s run. Lazio manage to nip ahead and bundle it out to their right. Back comes Forrest and sends over an inviting cross but no one bothers to RSVP. It demanded a run off the other wing from Yang or a back-post dart from O’Riley.

06:15 PM GMT

28 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Lazio free-kick 35 yards out, wide on the right. O’Riley takes no risks and heads the deep cross behind. Lazio take the corner short then hoop in the cross. Celtic had timed their trap to perfection but Carter-Vickers, just in case, made a strong flying, volleyed clearance before the offside whistle came.

06:13 PM GMT

26 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Johnston to the rescue again to see off Lazio’s counter with a tackle that sends the ball behind for a corner. Hart punches the whipped, inswinging cross away bravely from under the crossbar and is clattered for his troubles, earning himself a free-kick. Nat Lofthouse would not be happy with this referee.

Celtic's Greg Taylor, left, challenges for the ball with Lazio's Gustav Isaksen
Taylor tackles Isaksen - AP Photo/Alessandra Tarantino

06:09 PM GMT

23 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Isaksen skins Scales down the Lazio right and the Celtic centre-back resorts to shoving him in the small of the back. The referee plays advantage and Isaksen shifts the ball to his left to Luis Alberto who tries twice to free Felipe Andersen behind Johnston but the Celtic right-back sticks to him tightly and forces him back inside until the midfield digs in to help and see off the danger.

06:07 PM GMT

21 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Apart from Johnston’s chip up the inside right, most of the passing from both sides has been sloppy. Every promising position has been undone by a lack of precision or pace on the pass.

06:05 PM GMT

19 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Good work from Paulo Bernardo is undone by his off-kilter pass to Yang when the South Korea winger would have been free down the right, putting it too far ahead of him and allowing Marusic to pounce.

06:04 PM GMT

17 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Celtic free-kick 25 yards out and O’Riley floats it behind for a goal-kick. The type of free-kick that makes managers want to bite hard on their index finger.

06:02 PM GMT

15 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

A decent spell of Celtic possession is greeted by sustained boos and whistles. Good tackle from Taylor on halfway wins the ball off Guendouzi and Celtic play the horseshoe passing move that is Rodgers’ hallmark, all the way back to the centre-halves and across to Johnston. This time, though, Johnston plays a killer pass up the inside right and Furuhashi beats Patric to it but can’t quite control the ball as it bounced to the right. Bright run, though.

05:59 PM GMT

12 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Luis Alberto is allowed to canter forward, left of centre, to 30 yards and decides to let fly when there’s no tackle, ballooning his shot high, wide and hideous.

Lazio fans light a flare
Lazio fans light a flare - REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

05:57 PM GMT

10 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Celtic are caught wide open behind Johnston when he takes a nap and lets Felipe Andersen in behind him for a diving header into the ground, having crept round the back to meet Isaksen’s chipped cross. The angle was against him but Johnston gets a deserved rocket from Carter-Vickers for snoozing on the job as the ball kicks up off the turf and flies over the bar.

05:55 PM GMT

8 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Chance foe Guendouzi with a header that he wastes, connecting with one eyebrow for a glancer rather than the full force of his forehead. Celtic scramble it behind for a corner, taken by Luis Alberto. Hart punches it but it only goes 10 yards but he catches it when Lazio loop it back into a congested six-yard box.

05:52 PM GMT

5 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Lazio shift the ball up their right to Isaksen who cuts in off the whitewash to burst across Scales but he fizzes his daisycutter far too close to Hart who flops on top of it. Hart moves it forward quickly and slick inter-passing between O’Riley, Yang and McGregor puts Furuhashi through down the inside-left but he scuffs his left foot shot and gives Provedel the easiest of saves.

05:50 PM GMT

3 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Both sides are set up pretty similarly in 4-3-3s which mutate into 4-5-1s when they haven’t got the ball. Two quick forays, the first from Forrest with a run up the left, found by O’Riley’s cute pass. He takes six strides galloping down the left but his cross is intercepted and Lazio spring on the counter.

05:48 PM GMT

1 min: Lazio 0 Celtic 0

Celtic kick off and shift the ball straight back to Taylor who rushes his pass and they lose the ball high on the left. Lazio restart with a throw-in ... hurling it up the line for former MLS star Castellanos but he loses the challenge and Celtic regroup with Scales playing sideways.

05:45 PM GMT

The absence of Ciro Immobile is causing some debate

He is on the bench as they wrap him in cotton wool. Sarri needs league victories to save his job after no wins in three and he is being saved for Saturday’s visit of Cagliari.

05:43 PM GMT

The teams are in the tunnel

And start to walk out to the sound of the Champions League anthem. Lazio are in their home kit of sky blue shirts, white shorts and socks. Celtic are wearing their away strip – either black or such opaque dark green it makes no difference.

05:40 PM GMT

The Green Brigade, banned from home games, is in Rome

Green Brigade banner
Sir Rod Stewart gave the Green Brigade the middle finger before the draw with Motherwell as they protested outside the stadium ... but they are inside tonight - MAURIZIO BRAMBATTI/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

05:25 PM GMT

Celtic fans continue to show their support for the Palestinian cause

Celtic fans hold up the Palestine flag prior to the Uefa Champions League match
Some Celtic fans have brought Palestine flags into the Stadio Olimpico - Paolo Bruno/Getty Images
Celtic's antifa flag
Celtic fans hold up their anti-fascist standard in the stadium - REUTERS/Alberto Lingria

05:23 PM GMT

Brendan Rodgers speaks

Saying he would rather go out playing the Celtic way than compromise. Problem is there are many Celtic ways. Brendanball is not Angeball even though he inherited his successor/predecessor’s best players. Rodgers was all over the shop at Leicester last season and has looked incoherent in Europe this season on his return to Parkhead.

05:21 PM GMT

Celtic and Rangers are the most expensive Champions League grounds for visiting fans

Celtic and Rangers were found to be the most expensive clubs to visit on average for away fans in last season’s Champions League.

Average prices for supporters visiting Celtic Park and Ibrox hovered just below the €70 (£60.60) Uefa price cap set for away tickets in Europe’s premier club competition  £60 at Celtic and £59 at Rangers.

A Football Supporters Europe press release said the cost of away tickets in the Champions League and Uefa’s other club competitions remains “stubbornly high”, and that there was significant variation between countries.

Away tickets were sold at the price cap at more than 18 per cent of Champions League matches last season, with the average away ticket price in the 2022-23 competition being £41.

FSE found 12 of the 32 teams in last season’s Champions League group phase charged the maximum away ticket price of €70 at least once during the season.

Rangers did so twice, Celtic three times and European champions Manchester City did so on six occasions. Despite that, City were the eighth-cheapest club to watch in the Champions League, with away tickets averaging at just over €40.

05:01 PM GMT

Your teams in black and white

Lazio  Provedel, Marusic, Patric Gil, Gila, Lazzari, Rovella, Guendouzi, Luis Alberto, Felipe Anderson, Castellanos, Isaksen. 
Substitutes Pellegrini, Kamada, Pedro, Immobile, Hysaj, Cataldi, Sepe, Ruggeri, Magro. 

Celtic  Hart, Alistair Johnston, Carter-Vickers, Scales, Taylor, O’Riley, McGregor, Bernardo, Forrest, Furuhashi, Yang. Substitutes Lagerbielke, Phillips, Turnbull, Holm, Oh, Bain, Morrison, Ralston, Welsh, Michael Johnston, Frame. 

Referee  Halil Meler (Turkey)

04:48 PM GMT

Lazio's line-up

04:39 PM GMT

Your Celtic team

04:25 PM GMT

Preview: Left v Right

Good afternoon and welcome to live coverage of the Champions League Group E match between Lazio in second with seven points and Celtic in last spot with one. That’s on the pitch, of course, off it, as know only too well, arguably the most Left-wing fanbase in a top division in Europe, sorry St Pauli you may be top of Bundesliga 2 but you’ll have to wait until next year to fight for your crown, travel to arguably its most Right-wing bastion where the Irriducibile ultras, famous for their veneration of Mussolini and that banner praising Arkan, still hold considerable sway. Vigilance ought to be everyone’s watchword this evening.

Celtic, princes at home, where they lead the Premiership by eight points, are paupers in this tournament even given the financial defenestration of Serie A clubs over the past 15 years. They trail Feyenoord in third by five points and need to win today to stand any chance of grabbing second or third when they replay the 1970 European Cup final at Parkhead in 15 days. They also need Atlético to do them a favour and win at De Kuip tonight.

In Celtic’s favour is how close they came to beating Lazio at home, celebrating what they thought was Luis Palma’s late winner until the Var stuck his oar in. Insult was added to injury when  Pedro struck in the fifth minute of stoppage time. Lazio fans would have known how the home support felt, four years earlier Olivier Ntcham had pounced in added time for Celtic to win 2-1 in Stadio Olimpico in a Europa League group match.  But on the debit side of the balance sheet is the fact that they have not won an away game in the group stage since a 3-0 victory over Anderlecht in 2017.

Celtic’s priority, says Brendan Rodgers, will be maintaining their discipline having been reduced to nine men in Rotterdam and 10 in Madrid. Luis Palma and Daizen Maeda are suspended, though the latter is also injured, while Reo Hatate and Liel Abada are still some way off from returning.

Lazio’s goalkeeper and Serie A’s keeper of the year last season, Ivan Provedel, was reportedly running a fever as late as last night but is at the training ground today while Alessio Romagnoli, Nicolo Casale and Mattia Zaccagni are all ruled out of Maurizio Sarri’s squad.

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