Live Commentary: Spartak Moscow 2-3 Celtic - as it happened

Celtic
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live text commentary of Celtic's Champions League Group G clash with Spartak Moscow.

Good evening and welcome to Sports Mole's live text commentary of Celtic's Champions League encounter with Spartak Moscow.

The Scottish Premier League champions arrive in Russia searching for their first European victory following an opening Group G stalemate against Benfica a fortnight ago.

Meanwhile, Spartak manager Unai Emery is also in need of some points this evening after watching his side lose 3-2 to Spanish giants Barcelona.

Hoops boss Neil Lennon will be hoping that his team can add to their one point in the group against Spartak at the Stadion Luzhniki tonight in order to move up into a qualification spot.


19.04Well, I hope you enjoyed that as much as I did! If you haven't had enough fill of Champions League action, then stick with us on Sports Mole for in-depth coverage of all the remaining matches this evening. Enjoy!

19.01You could argue that if the Hoops continue playing with that desire and determination they could qualify to the knockout rounds. There is, however, the small matter of overcoming Barcelona. Although, if you asked any Celtic fan tonight they'd probably be convinced that they can get something out of that clash!

18.58While Spartak were composed at times, you would have to say that the Scottish side deserved the victory - especially following the introduction of James Forrest in the second half.

18.56It's worth mentioning that Barcelona are yet to kick off against Benfica but the SPL champions will savour this moment as they sit in the table with four points following tonight's win and their goalless draw a fortnight ago.

18.55So there you have it! Celtic have won their first away game in Europe for over 20 years in a rather dramatic fashion and they currently sit at the top of Group G above Barcelona!

94 minsFULL-TIME: Spartak 2-3 Celtic

92 minsWe're into three minutes of stoppage time and Celtic held their breath as Emenike tried to find another equaliser but the chance went missing.

90 minsWhat a dramatic ending! Celtic are edging closer to wiping away their record of not winning an away match in Europe courtesy of a Samaras header, which came from a precise cross into the box from Izaguirre.

89 minsGOAL! Spartak 2-3 Celtic (Samaras)

87 minsA flick from Commons allows Hooper to run one on one with the defender. The striker gets the shot in but his angle was too narrow to blast it past the keeper.

85 minsForrest passes the defender on a charge into the final third but a heavily weighted pass fails to find Hooper and the keeper gathers.

85 minsCeltic have just over five minutes to break their European voodoo. Can they do it??

83 minsHooper claims for a penalty but it's a weak shout as the striker was already leaning backwards in the box. Lennon is urging his players from the sidelines to find the winner.

82 minsForrest is continuing to make an impact for the away team as he feeds the ball into the final third after going past two places but the charge comes to nothing.

80 minsThere's still some fight in the home side as they try to counter but a foul on Izaguirre in the penalty box prevents an attack from coming to pass.

77 minsForster manages to prevent Emenike for getting a shot in after the ball is lofted into the penalty area. Despite Spartak being on the backfoot, you get the feeling that Emenike will take his chance if he gets it. The striker's on a hat-trick let's not forget...

76 minsEmenike wins a free kick in the middle of the park, which the home side will be grateful for as they try to halt Celtic's momentum.

73 minsWell, Celtic are definitely on top here! Spartak are struggling to deal with just 10 men and the away side are so far trying to make the most of it.

71 minsHe's only been on a matter of minutes but Forrest makes an impact by forcing Kombarov to hit the ball into his own net after launching a shot at the keeper. The move started from Mulgrew, who passed the ball into Samaras, who made a clever step over to give the ball to Hooper, who fed the ball into Forrest for the shot.

70 minsGOAL! Spartak 2-2 Celtic (Kombarov OG)

69 minsCeltic make their first change by bringing on James Forrest for Wanyama.

68 minsCeltic are enjoying a lot more possession as expected now that they have a one-man advantage over their opponents. The Hoops are spraying the ball around the midfield but are yet to make the most of their probing.

65 minsMulgrew's free kick, which took what seems ike hours to be taken due to a substitution, beats the Spartak wall but the goalkeeper gathers easily.

61 minsRED CARD! Oooh controversy in Moscow! Hooper is brought down by Insaurralde while he's through on goal but the French referee took his time to make the decision. After consulting with the assistant on the sidelines, Spartak go down to 10 men, with Celtic handed the opportunity to draw level by a free kick close to the area.

59 minsSamaras nicks the ball from Spartak in midfield and charges into the box but the ball is eventually easily stolen back by the home side to prevent any sort of threat.

58 minsA free kick from Mulgrew finds Ambrose in the box but his header is misdirected and flies over the bar.

55 minsCommons looks to be in some distress on the pitch. The Hoops player looks like he got a slight knock following a tackle by Kallstrom but he eventually gets on his feet and looks fit to continue.

55 minsCeltic eventually find themselves in the final third but a cross into the box from Samaras comes to nothing and the home side regain possession.

53 minsSpartak start their attack from the back once again and finds Makeev on the left, who tries to feed to ball into the box but Celtic prevent any trouble.

50 minsWhen Celtic went a goal to the good, Spartak were impressive in their attempts to get themselves back into the match but Celtic are doing the opposite at the moment. They are struggling to keep the ball and the home side are happy to maintain possession.

47 minsWell, I clearly spoke too soon! A deflected shot forces Forster to drop to the floor to try and push the ball out of bounds but Ari is straight onto it and swiftly passes the ball to the oncoming Emenike, who dinks it into the net.

47 minsGOAL! Spartak 2-1 Celtic (Emenike)

46 minsSpartak have started similar to that of the first half - spraying the ball over the pitch but are yet to cause an upset in Celtic's defence.

45 minsSo we're back for the second 45 minutes of the clash with the score at 1-1. The away side get us underway...

17.59Apologies for the technical problems but if you want a more comprehensive overview of the first half, then why not have a gander at my colleague Matt Law's half-time report here. Make sure you come back for the second half though!

17.53Despite Celtic's lead, you always had the feeling that the home side could cause some damage and they did just that through Emenike. I'd say it's a fair result so far, but I'm sure Lennon will be disappointed to led the lead slip.

17.51So it's all square at the break and you can argue that it's a deserved scoreline considering the performance of both sides in the first 45 minutes.

46 minsHALF-TIME: Spartak 1-1 Celtic

46 minsThe set piece comes to nothing and Celtic can breathe as the whistle is blown to call time on the opening half.

45 minsThe fourth official confirms that there will be a minute added on and Spartak are awarded a corner.

45 minsThe fourth official confirms that there will be a minute added on and Spartak are awarded a corner.

44 minsThe home side are buoyed by their goal, which has given the crowd something to should about as they try to search for the lead before half time.

41 minsEmenike has been a nuisance in this first half and his persistence pays off with an equaliser from a perfect lay-off from Ari.

40 minsGOAL! Spartak 1-1 Celtic (Emenike)

39 minsSAVE! Pareja beats the wall but Forster gets enough on the ball to push it away from goal.

38 minsA big chance for Spartak here as they're awarded a free kick just outside the area. Pareja is poised to take it...

37 minsCommons's free kick gives Samaras the chance to head down towards goal but it's too soft and is easily collected by Spartak keeper Pesyakov.

34 minsBut there's Emenike for Spartak once again, who finds himself in the penalty area. McGeady crosses the ball to the frontman's head but the striker knocks it way over the top of the crossbar.

33 minsThe home side are trying to find the equaliser but Lennon's game plan seems to be working as Celtic look comfortable and in control, which is miles apart from how they started the match!

31 minsSpartak fail to capitalise from the free kick after Pareja is unable to get a head on a lofting ball into the area.

29 minsYellow card! Wanyama is handed a yellow clipping the heels of De Zeeuw. Looks accidental from the replays but that's two cautions for Celtic so far.

26 minsCHANCE! A super cross from Kombarov opens up space in the air for Emenike to get the header on and equalise for the home side but the Spartak player completely misses the cross.

24 minsGOAL RULED OFFSIDE! Hooper finds the back of the net once again for Celtic after a break on from midfield. Samaras goes one on one with a Spartak defender but gets his cross into Hooper, who hammers the ball into the goal, but is ruled a fraction offside.

22 minsWilson and Celtic keeper Forster deal with an attack from Emenike, who chests the ball down from a pass from midfield and fails to control it.

21 minsYellow card! Mulgrew picks up a caution after smashing the ball away in frustration after the breakdown of an attack. The Celtic player could live to regret that mistake.

20 minsSlight technical glitch there but we're back on track! Spartak have responded well from going a goal down and McGeady, who left Celtic for the Russian outfit in 2010, is trying to orchestrate a comeback but the Hoops are so far dealing with the home side's attacks.

12 minsWell, that was against the run of play! An impressive pass from Wanyama out to wide-man Lustig allowed the player to find space and launch a low cross from the right into the feet of Gary Hooper, who guides the ball into the left-hand bottom corner.

11 minsGOAL! Spartak 0-1 Celtic (Hooper)

9 minsMulgrew launches a ball from his own half into the final third but there was no precision or direction on the ball to cause any problems or meet one of his teammates.

7 minsSpartak are in possession once again. They're finding the ball far too easy in midfield and Ari looks especially effective in these early stages.

6 minsScott Brown wins a free kick for Celtic following a move down the wide areas from Lustig, which gives the SPL champions some much-needed time on the ball.

6 minsScott Brown wins a free kick for Celtic following a move down the wide areas from Lustig, which gives the SPL champions some much-needed time on the ball.

5 minsThe away side are under pressure in these early stages already and Neil Lennon's men are yet to form an attack on the Russian outfit.

3 minsKallstrom bursts through from midfield but Ambrose gets a foot on the ball in the penalty area to help the shot go over the bar and the referee awards a goal kick, claiming that the shot came off Kallstrom.

2 minsA second corner in as many minutes for the home side but it once again comes to nothing but a lofty cross from Ari launches the ball into the box, which Celtic clear.

1 minAri launches the first test of Celtic's defence after controlling the ball and swiveling round the opposing player to storm down the right-hand side but Ambrose knocks the ball out for a corner, which comes to nothing.

1 minHere we go then! Spartak get us underway...

16.58Ahh and there's the traditional Champions League music. Doesn't get much better than that!

16.58Both sides are emerging from the tunnel and Celtic will be under slight pressure due to their inability to win an away game in Europe in over 20 years but let's keep out fingers crossed for an exciting encounter!

16.53Anyway, back to matters at hand! We are just five or so minutes away from kick-off in Moscow.

16.52The 36-year-old has boasted a 17-year career playing for the likes of Bayer Leverkusen and Bayern Munich as well as enjoying an eventful period with the German national side.

16.47Both sides head into the clash on the back of wins in their respective leagues so you can be sure that neither team will be suffering from a lack of confidence.

16.44Another little fun fact for you! Not one Celtic player has seen red in a Champions League match, while Spartak have suffered red cards in two of their last three encounters.

16.44Another little fun fact for you! Not one Celtic player has seen red in a Champions League match, while Spartak have suffered red cards in two of their last three encounters.

16.41We also have BATE vs. Bayern Munich, Galatasaray vs. Braga. Juventus vs. Shakhtar Donetsk and Valencia vs. Lille

16.38Switching away from Celtic and Spartak for a second - we still have plenty of action going on later. Competition holders Chelsea go up against Nordsjaelland, while Manchester United are in Transylvania to play CFR Cluj.

16.36By all accounts, around 40 to 50 thousand spectators are due to witness this evening's match in the Stadion Luzhniki and the atmosphere is already building.

16.33Despite their European record, Lennon is confident that his side can take their away form in the qualifiers into tonight's battle. Read what the coach has been saying here.

16.31The Scottish outfit were also unable to get a single shot on target in their goalless draw with Benfica a fortnight ago.

16.30Looking at those stats, we could be in for a draw tonight!

16.29Although, on the flip side, Celtic have failed to pick up a win in any of their last 26 away games in Europe (excluding qualifying matches).

16.27While the home side tends to be the favourite in these circumstances, Spartak will be hoping that their record changes as they head into tonight's match as they have claimed just one win out of 14 home games in the Champions League.

16.25Just a reminder that the match gets underway at 5pm so we have just over half an hour until kick-off. While we wait, why not take in some fun facts surrounding this meeting! You know you want to really...

16.23I gave you the lineups earlier but if you want a bit more flesh on those bones then have a little look here for a bit more info courtesy of Liam Apicella.

16.22Spartak are desperate to get off the mark after a disappointing 3-2 defeat to Barcelona in their opening Champions League game so they are likely to go all guns blazing to get a result from the British boys tonight.

16.21If Neil Lennon's SPL side grab all three points this evening and if Barcelona secure victory over Benfica then Celtic will move up into a qualification spot in the group.

16.16Right, so there's the team lineups! Let's have a look at what tonight's clash could mean for the respective sides. Celtic are currently placed in third behind Group G leaders Barcelona and Benfica with one point.

16.15Here's Unai Emery's bench - Substitutes: Rebrov, Bryzgalov, K Kombarov, Bilyaletdinov, Dzyuba, Yakovlev, Kozlov

16.13The team news for the home side is also in! Spartak Moscow: Pesyakov; Insaurralde, Pareja, Makeev, Rafael Carioca; McGeady, De Zeeuw, Kallstrom, D Kombarov; Ari, Emenike

16.12And let's not forget the bench! Substitutes: Zaluska, Miku, Ledley, Watt, Rogne, Kayal, Forrest

16.11So here's the full lineup for Celtic: Forster; Lustig, Wilson, Ambrose, Izaguirre; Commons, Brown, Wanyama, Mulgrew; Samaras, Hooper

16.09We have some interesting team news from the Hoops! Defender Adam Matthews has been omitted from the squad due to an injury he picked up against Motherwell in the SPL at the weekend. However, Giorgos Samaras returns, which will provide the Scottish outfit with a big lift heading into tonight's match in Russia.

16.03Hello all! Welcome to our coverage of Celtic's Champions League battle with Spartak Moscow. This early Group G clash kicks off tonight's Champions League action.


Georgios Samaras
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