Celtic reach Europa League despite Anderlecht loss

The Belgian side were 1-0 winners at Celtic Park through a Simunovic own goal.

Blow: Celtic conceded an own goal. SNS Group

Celtic have qualified for the Europa League knockout stages despite losing 1-0 at home to Anderlecht in their final Champions League group stage game.

A Jozo Simunovic own goal settled the contest on the night but it wasn't enough for Anderlecht, who needed a win by three goals to deny Celtic third place in the group and European football after Christmas.

The result put both teams level on three points but Celtic had the better head to head record from games between the pair.

Celtic's impressive 3-0 win in Belgium earlier in the group had boosted confidence ahead of the game but Brendan Rodgers' side were lacklustre in the first half, though their opponents didn't find a cutting edge.

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After the break, the hosts improved but fell behind just after the hour mark when a cross from the right deflected off the Celtic centre-half and past Craig Gordon.

Neither side could add to the scoring and despite the home defeat, Celtic achieved their pre-tournament aim of continued continental competition in 2018.

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