MX23RW : Wednesday, March 27 02:22:35| >> :600:3467232:3467232:
Feb 14, 2019 at 8pm UK at ​Celtic Park (Glasgow)
Celtic
0-2
Valencia
FT(HT: 0-1)
Cheryshev (42'), Sobrino (49')

Result: Ruben Sobrino and Denis Cheryshev help Valencia pick off Celtic

Result: Ruben Sobrino and Denis Cheryshev help Valencia pick off Celtic
© Reuters
The Hoops have it all to do in Spain.

Celtic will need to produce some magic in the Mestalla Stadium next week following their 2-0 Europa League defeat by Valencia at Parkhead.

Russia international Denis Cheryshev scored for the well-drilled visitors three minutes before the interval in the first leg of the last-32 encounter.

It was the first goal the Scottish champions had conceded at home since the 2-1 win over Salzburg two months ago and the second came in the 49th minute when debutant striker Ruben Sobrino knocked in a cross from Cheryshev.

The Spanish side controlled most of the match after that to hand Brendan Rodgers' side their first defeat of 2019, ending a run of seven straight wins, and leave the Scottish champions all to do and more in Spain next Thursday.

The night began with a minute's silence in tribute to Emiliano Sala, the 28-year-old striker who recently died in a plane crash when he was flying to join his new side Cardiff.

Celtic, who had fit-again left-back Emilio Izaguirre back in the side, started with purpose.

Attacker Ryan Christie's early drive from just outside the box failed to really test Neto but moments later Valencia's Brazilian goalkeeper did well to parry a more powerful drive from Callum McGregor with defender Lato completing the clearance.

Ruben Sobrino netted Valencia's second goal
Ruben Sobrino netted Valencia's second goal (Ian Rutherford/PA)

Lato had earlier elicited penalty claims from Celtic after tangling with winger James Forrest inside the box but Romanian referee Ovidiu Hategan was unimpressed.

Sobrino, the January signing from Alaves, partnered Cheryshev in a 4-4-2 formation and the duo watched the Valencia defence repel a stream of attacks before later really making their mark.

However, in the 18th minute, following a cross from the right from midfielder Carlos Soler, Sobrino flicked on and Daniel Wass' header had goalkeeper Scott Bain stretching to claw the ball past the post, with the home side defending consecutive corners.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers (right) greeted Valencia boss Marcelino ahead of kick-off
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers (right) greeted Valencia boss Marcelino ahead of kick-off (Ian Rutherford/PA)

Skipper Scott Brown's short pass back to Bain seconds later almost had his side in trouble again and the Spaniards grew further in confidence as the first half unfolded.

Nonetheless, Parkhead was stunned in the 42nd minute when Valencia scored on the counter-attack.

When McGregor lost possession in the middle of the park, skipper Daniel Parejo sent Sobrino racing clear and he simply laid it off to Cheryshev to tap into an empty net from close range.

Former Arsenal midfielder Francis Coquelin replaced Parejo for the second half and four minutes later the Hoops were two behind.

Cheryshev raced down the left and crossed for Sobrino to volley past Bain from six yards, adding to the despair of the home fans who had claimed the Russian was offside.

Just before the hour mark Rodgers went for broke, bringing on strikers Timothy Weah and Odsonne Edouard for Scott Sinclair and Christie respectively.

The Hoops fans tried to drive their team on but Valencia held firm under occasional periods of pressure and their hard work and organisation allowed the match to fizzle out, with Celtic requiring quite a turnaround in the return match if they are to reach the last-16 this season.

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Oliver Burke in training for Celtic on February 13, 2019
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool31237170185276
2Manchester CityMan City30242479215874
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs30201957322561
4Arsenal30186663392460
5Manchester UnitedMan Utd30177658401858
6Chelsea30176750331757
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves30128103836244
8Watford30127114244-243
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham31126134146-542
10Leicester CityLeicester31125144043-341
11Everton31117134342140
12Bournemouth31115154356-1338
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle3198143140-935
14Crystal Palace3096153641-533
15Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton2996143242-1033
16Southampton3079143450-1630
17Burnley3186173559-2430
18Cardiff CityCardiff3084182757-3028
19Fulham3145222970-4117
20Huddersfield TownHuddersfield3135231857-3914

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