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Dec 11, 2014 at 6pm UK at Stadiom Maksimir
Dinamo Zagreb
4-3
Celtic
Pjaca (14', 39', 50'), Brozovic (48')
FT(HT: 2-2)
Commons (23'), Scepovic (29'), Pivaric (81' og.)

Live Commentary: Dinamo Zagreb 4-3 Celtic - as it happened

Relive with Sports Mole all the action from the Europa League clash between Dinamo Zagreb and Celtic at the Stadion Maksimir.
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Dinamo Zagreb and Celtic met in their Europa League match at the Stadion Maksimir on Thursday.

The Bhoys had already secured their place in the last 32 of the competition, while Zagreb were already eliminated as they had taken just three points from their opening five matches.

However, Zoran Mamic's side restored their pride to avoid finishing bottom of Group D as a Marko Pjaca hat-trick guided them to a 4-3 victory over Ronny Delia's men in a thrilling contest.

Read how all the action unfolded in our commentary below.


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Good evening and welcome to the live commentary of the Europa League match between Dinamo Zagreb and Celtic.

Celtic can relax this evening as they have already secured their place in the last 32 of the competition despite a defeat in their last outing to Red Bull Salzburg. Ronny Deila's side can't drop down from second place, but they can't move up in Group D as Salzburg are five points clear.

Zagreb are out of the competition following this fixture, and as a result have little to play for but pride. Zoran Mamic's side can avoid finishing bottom of the group with a victory and if Astra Giugiu fail to beat Salzburg in their meeting. So, an interesting match for the Bhoys this evening against a team with nothing to lose.

TEAM NEWS!

DINAMO ZAGREB XI: Eduardo, Ivo Pinto, Sigali, Taravel, Antolic, Ademi, Pivaric, Brozovic, Soudani, Henriquez, Pjaca
Subs: Mikulic, Simunovic, Paulo Machado, Goncalo Santos, Vukojevic, Fernandes, Cop

CELTIC XI: Gordon, Matthews, Ambrose, Van Dijk, Izaguirre, Bitton, Johansen, McGregor, Commons, Wakaso, Scepovic
Subs: Zaluska, Fisher, Stokes, Henderson, Tonev, Griffiths, O'Connell


There is no Scott Brown in the lineup for the Bhoys this evening as he has been rested, and is not even on the bench for Deila's men. Craig Forrest, John Guidetti and Anthony Stokes also drop out of the team and are replaced by Stefan Scepovic, Kris Commons and Mubarak Wakaso from their 1-0 win over Motherwell at the weekend.

Deila will want a performance from his side this evening despite having already qualified for the next round of the competition. The Bhoys tasted defeat for the first time in the competition against Salzburg in their last match, and the boss will want his team to end their group campaign on a high note.

In the absence of Brown, Virgil van Dijk will assume the captain's armband this evening. Here he is going through his warm-ups this evening.



Deila has admitted that his side want to keep pushing for a victory this evening, as it could earn the club an extra £200,000.

He told reporters: "It is still an important game for us. It is about getting seeded in the play-offs next year. That's something we have to think of. It's also about money. We get more money for winning the game and going through. It is not a huge amount of money, but it's money.

"We want to go to winter training camps to improve the team, so getting more money helps us do that. It is also important to use this last match in the group to get even better as a team against this level of opponent.

"It is a European match away from home and we want to get a victory which would be a very good achievement."


Quick look at how the teams will line up in their respective formations this evening.



The teams are making their way out onto the pitch and we should be underway shortly.

KICKOFF! We're underway in this Europa League encounter.

CHANCE! The home side push forward in the early stages as Pivaric raids down the line and fires a low cross into the box. Antolic gathers the cross inside the area, and sidefoots the ball towards goal, but Ambrose is on hand to make the block for Celtic. Promising start for Zagreb.

McGregor collects the ball for Celtic down the right and he takes a touch inside onto his left foot and keeps moving towards the edge of the box. The winger lets fly with a left-footed effort, which sails well over the crossbar. Ambitious from the youngster.

CHANCE! Celtic win a corner down the left which Commons takes. His first cross is played back into his path by Scepovic, and the midfielder powers an effort at goal with a left-footed strike, which is well saved by Eduardo. The Zagreb defence then quickly react to clear the rebound.

The home side raid upfield and threaten themselves from a corner. The ball loops up into the path of Taravel who directs a header at goal, but his effort is tame and easily saved by Gordon.

DISALLOWED GOAL! Zagreb break forward through the middle with Soudani and Herniquez, but the latter loses possession in the box with a heavy touch. Soudani latches onto the ball and places the ball in the bottom corner, but is immediately flagged offside. He doesn't look happy but it's the right decision.

SUBSTITUTION: A change for the home side due to injury as Taravel is forced off and replaced by Simunovic.

GOAL! Dinamo Zagreb 1-0 Celtic (Pjaca)

The home side take the lead with a well-taken goal by Pjaca. Zagreb raid forward down the right and a cross is deflected into the winger's path in the left inside channel. He does well to turn the challenge of Matthews and shift onto his right foot and then place a strike past Gordon into the bottom corner.

Celtic have not got going in this game at all as they have been put on the back foot by the home side. The play from Zagreb hasn't been overwhelmingly good, which will disappoint Deila, and he will want to see a lot more from his team as the half progresses.

The Bhoys have struggled for creativity so far in the match and Izaguirre typifies these problems as he has space and time to pick out a teammate in the box, but he floats his cross to the back post which too much height and Eduardo can gather with ease.

CHANCE! McGregor speeds down the right and gets the better of his marker for the visitors. He then whips a ball across the face of goal, which Scepovic misses by inches as he along with Eduardo and two defenders converged by the ball. In the aftermath of the chance Celtic earn another chance to threaten with a free kick just outside the box.

GOAL! Dinamo Zagreb 1-1 Celtic (Commons)

Celtic are back in the game thanks to some comical defending and keeping as Commons nods the ball past Eduardo into the bottom corner. Van Dijk had taken the free kick from the edge of the box which struck the top of the wall and looped up into the air. No Zagreb player reacted to the ball and Eduardo was hesitant in coming off his line, and Commons got enough contact to guide his header into the bottom corner past the scrambling keeper.

The home side try to rally back immediately as Pjaca looks for his second goal of the game with a strike from the edge of the area, but Van Dijk stands firm to make the block. Brozovic tries to gather the the loose ball but his touch is too heavy, which results in a goal kick.

Another free kick in a dangerous position for the Bhoys as Commons is decked on the edge of the box by a poor challenge from Brozovic.

GOAL! Dinamo Zagreb 1-2 Celtic (Scepovic)

Celtic take the lead as Scepovic converts from close range after more poor defending from the home side from a set piece. Commons took the free kick from the edge of the box and his strike clattered off the bar, but Biton headed the ball back into the six-yard box, where the striker was to smash the ball into the net.

Wakaso raids forward for the Bhoys and has two runners in Commons and Scepovic pushing beyond the defence, but he gets his through ball all wrong and Eduardo can gather with ease for the home side.

Opportunity for Zagreb as Izzaguire gives away a free kick right on the edge of the area. Lets see if the Bhoys can defend better from this set-piece than the home side did five minutes ago.

Brozovic takes the free kick and his effort takes a deflection off the top of the wall and goes out for a corner. From the resulting corner, Antonlic's cross travels dangerously into the six-yard box although the eventual header from Henriquez is poor as his effort sails over the bar.

GOAL! Dinamo Zagreb 2-2 Celtic (Pjaca)

Zagreb are back in the game as Pjaca nets his second of the match with the aid of a deflection as his effort beats Gordon at his near post. It was poor defending from Matthews that presented the chance as he slipped when trying to clear the ball in the box, and Pjaca gathered and fired at goal. His strike took a wicked deflection off Ambrose and into the bottom corner.

CHANCE! Zagreb nearly take the lead before the break as Brozovic plays a one-two with Pjaca on the edge of the area and he manages to break into the box, but the midfielder's strike is well saved by Gordon.

There will be one minute of added time.

HALF-TIME: Dinamo Zagreb 2-2 Celtic

It's all square at the break in this Europa League clash as both sides have been guilty of some poor defending in the first 45 minutes. Deila will be disappointed that his side gave up a cheap goal right before half time as Matthews made a crucial slip in the box, which allowed Pjaca to level for Zagreb. Both teams have looked very vulnerable, so we could see changes made at the break.

The posession stats are 50-50 at the break, but the home side are edging shots on goal at 11-7 against the Bhoys. Celtic have been far from their best and a little pedestrian at times, with a little more urgency and care in the second half they should have enough quality to earn the three points this evening.

BOOKINGS! There were a couple of bookings in the first half as Izzaguire and Scepovic were both cautioned for the visitors.

The players are back out for the second half so we should be underway shortly.

RESTART! We're back underway in this Europa League clash.

CHANCE! Soudani has a glorious chance to fire his side in the lead as he collects a cross from the right and meets it first time on the volley. However, Gordon is on hand to make a tremendous reaction save to keep the ball out.

CHANCE! Celtic don't clear the danger from the first chance and Ademi raids down the left and drills a shot to the near post, which Gordon parries at the first attempt and then is quick to his feet to gather.

GOAL! Dinamo Zagreb 3-2 Celtic (Brozovic)

Zagreb have come out for the second half full of energy and have deservedly taken the lead as Brozovic latches onto Ademi's cross from the right and drills a left-footed shot into the bottom corner with deadly accuracy to beat the outstretched hand of Gordon.

GOAL! Dinamo Zagreb 4-2 Celtic (Pjaca)

Disaster for Celtic as Pjaca complete his hat-trick with a stunning strike into the top corner leaving Gordon no chance. The winger picked up the ball and ran at the Celtic defence, and no player in white closed him down in time, allowing him to shoot from the edge of the box and to put his side in complete control of the match.

Deila's side look shell shocked by the home team's start to the second half. They're struggling to get a foot on the ball and have been completely blown away by some excellent football from Zagreb.

SUBSTITUTION: Fisher replaces Matthews for the Bhoys.

Soudani weaves his way down the left flank and reaches the edge of the box. Again there is no pressure on the winger and that allows him to shoot at goal, but Gordon gets down at his near post to make the save.

SUSBTITUTION: Henderson replaces McGregor for the visitors.

PENALTY APPEAL! Antolic pushes forward down the right flank for Zagreb and manages to beat the challenge of Izaguirre. The midfielder goes down in the box and claims for a penalty, but the referee waves play on. There could have been contact there from the Celtic man.

SUSBTITUTION: Henriquez makes way for the home side for Cop.

Celtic have struggled to get anything going in the final third of the pitch in the second half as the home side have dominated the midfield and quelled any ball that has moved into their territory. A real solid effort from Zagreb this evening.

Frustration for Celtic as they finally get a decent move in the final third going then Scepovic is called for offside as he tried to latch onto Wakaso's pass down the left flank. The decision seemed to be harsh as the striker appeared to be in line when the ball was played.

The home side are knocking the ball around comfortably at the moment as they seem happy to sit on their two-goal lead.

SUSBTITUTION: Stokes replaces Wakaso for the Bhoys.

A long ball over the top of the defence seems Scepovic through on goal, but as he shoots his effort is well blocked by Sigali, who raced back just in time to prevent the strike troubling Eduardo.

Celtic push forward in numbers as Ambrose drives up from the back to play a pass to Fisher. The winger crosses the ball into the path of Commons, who can't get a shot away, but he finds Stokes on the left. The striker tries to take a touch and shoot, but Sigali makes a good tackle at the crucial moment to stop the attack.

GOAL! Dinamo Zagreb 4-3 Celtic (Scepovic)

Celtic get themselves back in the game as Stokes raids down the left and forces a low ball across the face of goal, and Scepovic manages to get in front of his marker to divert the ball past Eduardo into the bottom corner.

Fisher makes a mistake as he brings Pjaca down just outside the area, and gives the home side a chance to kill off the match. Cop stands over the ball with the chance to effectively end the game.

CHANCE! Cop's effort sails over the wall and has Gordon scrambling to his near post, but fortunately for the keeper the strike goes inches wide. That was a close call for the visitors.

CHANCE! Henderson comes within inches of getting Celtic back into the game as he strikes an effort from the edge of the area, which takes a huge deflection off a defender and loops over Eduardo. However, the keeper manages to leap backwards and tip the ball over the bar.

OFF THE POST! Van Dijk hits the post from the resulting corner as he ball is fired into the near post and the defender gets a glancing header, but his effort loops towards the back stick, hits the woodwork and bounces clear. So close for Deila's men.

CHANCE! Zagreb miss the chance to kill the game off as Celtic commit men forward and get caught on the break. Ademi has space and time to fire an effort past Gordon, but his strike flies well past the post.

There will be three minutes of added time.

Ademi races through down the right and has the chance to pick out Cop in the middle, but Ambrose gets back just in the knick of time to clear the ball.

FULL-TIME: Dinamo Zagreb 4-3 Celtic

Zagreb edge out Celtic in a thrilling game this evening to finish third in the group as a result of Astra Giurgiu's defeat to Salzburg. Zoran Mamic's side put in an excellent display in the second half to blast the Bhoys away with two goals in the first five minutes, as Marko Pjaca notched an impressive hat-trick to guide his side to victory.

Deila will be disappointed with the way his side lost this match this evening, as they looked in control when they took the lead midway through the first half. However, some poor defending has cost them the three points, but he will want to see a marked improvement next time they are in action, as his side did not do the basic things right at the back in this defeat.

Thanks for joining our commentary this evening. Be sure to stick with Sports Mole for our continued coverage of the Europa League tonight, but from me, it's goodbye.

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Stefan Scepovic of Celtic celebrates scoring his goal during the UEFA Europa League group D match between Celtic FC and FC Astra Giurgiu at Celtic Park on October 23, 2014
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