Sep 27, 2017 at 7.45pm UK at ​Constant Vanden Stock
Attendance: 19,898
Anderlecht
0-3
Celtic
 
FT(HT: 0-1)
Griffiths (38'), Roberts (50'), Sinclair (90')

Live Commentary: Anderlecht 0-3 Celtic - as it happened

Live Commentary: Anderlecht 0-3 Celtic - as it happened
© SilverHub
Relive all of the action from Celtic's crucial 3-0 win over Belgian champions Anderlecht in Brussels, courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates.

Celtic won in the Champions League group stage for the first time in four years by beating Anderlecht 3-0 in Brussels this evening.

Goals from Leigh Griffiths and Patrick Roberts either side of the break put Celtic in command before Scott Sinclair wrapped up victory with a stoppage-time third.

This was also Celtic's first away European victory since 2012, and came accompanied by a first Champions League clean sheet in six years.

The only concern for Brendan Rodgers would be an injury which forced captain Scott Brown to limp off in the second half.

Relive how the action unfolded courtesy of Sports Mole's minute-by-minute updates.


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6.45pmGood evening ladies and gents. Celtic were taught a tough European lesson by PSG in gameweek one and tonight travel to Anderlecht for a tie which could determine their European campaign. Let's see who Brendan Rodgers has put his faith in for this crucial Champions League clash with the team news...

6.47pmCELTIC: Gordon; Lustig, Boyata, Simunovic, Tierney; Brown, Ntcham; Roberts, Rogic, Sinclair; Griffiths
Subs: De Vries, Bitton, Dembele, Armstrong, Hayes, McGregor, Forrest

6.49pmANDERLECHT: Boeckx; Appiah, Deschacht, Spajic, Chipciu; Gerkens, Dendoncker, Trebel, Hanni; Onyekuru, Teodorczyk
Subs: Sels, Kara, Stanciu, Bruno, Beric, Sowah, Harbaoui

6.51pmRodgers makes only one change from the lineup which started Saturday's Old Firm win over Rangers at Ibrox, with Frenchman Olivier Ntcham coming in for Stuart Armstrong in midfield.

6.53pmLeigh Griffiths is the lone striker for Celtic, with Mousa Dembele kept in reserve on the bench. But the attacking midfield trio of Scott Sinclair, Patrick Roberts and Tom Rogic should provides Griffiths with plenty of service, and goalscoring support.

6.55pmBelgium international Dedryck Boyata starts in his homeland in central defence - his first Champions League appearance for Celtic - as partner to Jozo Simunovic, with Erik Sviatchenko and Eboue Kouassi still out injured.

6.57pmCeltic's all-time appearance maker in European competition, Scott Brown, captains the side and his leadership and experience will be crucial in helping his side recover from their thrashing by PSG.

Scott Brown of Celtic FC looks on during the UEFA Champions League, Group H match between FC Barcelona and Celtic FC at the Camp Nou Stadium on December 11, 2013© Getty Images


6.59pmTheir annihilation at the hands of the French champions was the joint-second heaviest defeat in Celtic's European history - their heaviest at home. Only 2016's 7-0 mauling by Barcelona was a loss of a greater margin, and Neymar (one goal and four assists) was a chief tormentor again on that evening.

7.01pmManager Rodgers has admitted that the PSG experience would have been a "humbling" one for his squad, but has backed them to improve throughout the campaign, starting tonight at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium.

He told reporters: "Obviously, they're very humbling experiences for players. It's boys who are used to winning and when you come up against that level of play at the very top level of the game then it's tough and it's humbling."


7.03pmAnderlecht appear to have gone with a fashionable 3-5-2 formation. Everton loanee Henry Onyekuru, immediately loaned out after being signed from Belgian First Division side Eupon this summer, is one of two forwards. He is their top scorer in all competitions this season with three.

7.05pmMidfielder Sven Kums serves a one-game ban after his 11th-minute sending off in the 3-0 defeat to Bayern Munich. Winger Andy Najar is also unavailable because of injury, and defender Kara Mbodj is only fit enough for the bench. Lukasz Teodorczyk, Pieter Gerkens and Alexandru Chipciu are all recalled.

7.07pmCaretaker manager Nicolas Frutos, who had a prolific spell as a player at Anderlecht towards the end of his career, is taking charge of only his second game and makes four changes in total. Nicolae Stanciu, Massimo Bruno, Emmanuel Sowah Adjei and Hamdi Harbaoui drop out from the 2-1 win over Waasland Beveren.

7.09pmOne loanee from a Premier League team starts, but Newcastle goalkeeper Mats Sels only gets a place on the bench. Frank Acheampong and Youri Tielemans were notable summer departures and their creativity has been badly missed by Anderlecht in the early stages of this season.

7.11pmAnderlecht sacked Swiss coach Rene Weiler last week with the club eight in the Belgian First Division table, and appointed 36-year-old Argentine Frutos as manager on an interim basis.

7.13pmFrutos got his first win under his belt on the road at the weekend, and, back on their own turf, Anderlecht's home European record should give him encouragement heading into this evening - they have only lost one of their last seven.

7.15pmThat form helped them advance to the quarter-finals of last season's Europa League, where they were beaten in extra time of the quarter-finals by eventual winners Manchester United. They held the Red Devils to a 1-1 draw on their own patch.

7.17pmHowever, Anderlecht do struggle when it comes to stepping up to the top tier. They have won only one of their last seven home group matches in the Champions League - a 2-0 victory over Galatasaray, and have not progressed to the second phase since 2000-01.

7.19pmSince then, Anderlecht have become a feeder club across Europe, particularly to the Premier League. Tielmans is the latest to leave, to Monaco, and before him Stefan Defour, Stefano Okaka, Chancel Mbemba, Aleksandar Mitrovic, Cheikhou Kouyate, have all moved to English clubs.

7.21pmSTAT: Celtic have not won any of their last 16 European group stage fixtures, in either the Champions League or the Europa League, drawing seven and losing nine. They are not the continental banana skin that they were under Martin O'Neill.

7.23pmTheir last Champions League group stage win was a 2-1 win over Ajax in October 2013. James Forrest and Baram Kayal were the goalscorers that night at Parkhead, where Milan and Barcelona also visited that season. They haven't had favourable draws of late!

7.25pmBut domestically things are continuing to go flawlessly for Brendan Rodgers. They have extended their unbeaten run in Scottish football to 57 games, and cantered past their fiercest rivals last weekend to extend their lead at the top of the table.

7.27pmThat Old Firm result has been part of a strong response to the PSG hammering. Celtic have won their last three Scottish Premiership games, scoring 10 goals without conceding, showing the character that Rodgers doesn't stop talking about!

7.29pmSomething else Rodgers will love is the revelation this week that Celtic are the possession kings of Europe. The CIES Football Observatory found that they average 70.8% of the ball in their matches - more than Barcelona, Manchester City et al.

7.31pmPerhaps that surprising stat explains why Celtic have struggled so badly in Europe. Apart from the obvious jump in standard, they are playing a completely different game. For example, the Bhoys only had 31% possession in their opening game against PSG.

7.33pmJust over 10 minutes until kickoff in Belgium. Manchester United and Chelsea are also in action tonight while PSG take on Bayern Munich in probably the biggest match of this season's competition thus far. Choose your live commentary here.

7.35pmHEAD TO HEAD: Celtic have never won on their three previous trips to Belgium, when they faced Beerschot FC, Gent and tonight's opponents. They have beaten all three of those sides in the return fixtures in Scotland, which bodes well for later in the campaign.

7.37pmThe only two previous meetings between these sides came in the group stage of this competition in 2003-04, when they each won the home leg. Vincent Kompany was playing for Anderlecht back then, and ex-Portsmouth striker Aruna Dindane bagged in both fixtures for the Belgians.

Henrik Larsson and Chris Sutton scored in the 3-1 win at Celtic Park. That was a serious Celtic team.


7.39pmOverall, Anderlecht have a poor record against Scottish opposition, with that 2003 win over Celtic their only success in 10 attempts. They have lost 50% of their matches against Scottish teams, although only twice on home soil.

7.41pmPREDICTION: This really is a huge game for both teams, who are realistically in a fight for third place. Celtic's recent European record is poor, particularly away from home, but that front four looks like it could cause problems and this Anderlecht team is well beatable. I fancy Celtic and will go for 2-1.

7.43pmOlympic silver medal-winning swimmer Michael Jamieson is also sensing something special...


1 minKICKOFF: Celtic get us underway in Brussels, on the whistle of the Spanish officials.

3 minKieran Tierney swings in a deep cross which had slightly too much on it for Griffiths. The striker can only chest the ball straight out of play, and it was a very difficult delivery to gain control of.

5 minSome decent early possession for Celtic, but they give the ball away on one occasion and Ntcham slides in on Teodorczyk to prevent the break. The Pole writhes in pain on the floor while the referee has a word with the Bhoys midfielder.

7 minUPDATE: An early goal in Group B's heavyweight clash with Dani Alves giving PSG a 2nd-minute lead. Manchester United have also started quickly and lead at CSKA Moscow through Romelu Lukaku.

9 minRodgers' decision to bring in Ntcham tonight does not look convincing so far. The Frenchman looks off the pace and gives away another foul, yet again escaping without a caution - that must be his last warning. Dendoncker fires the set piece way over the crossbar from 30 yards.

11 minCeltic continue to knock the ball about in possession without any penetration, just finding their feet in this game. Anderlecht are happy to sit off and then try to hit their visitors on the counter.

12 minBrown plays a hopeful ball into the left channel for Griffiths to chase down but Frank Boeckx comes off his line to cut out the danger. The Anderlecht goalkeeper is celebrating his 31st birthday today.

14 minFirst real scare for Celtic but the defence is on hand to block a couple of shots in a mini goalmouth scramble. Craig Gordon's sloppy pass then puts them in trouble again, but Brown intervenes well.

17 minCeltic's early assurance seems to have abandoned them and passes are now being misplaced with far too much regularity. Sinclair and Ntcham are the guilty parties, and from the touchline Rodgers encourages his team to keep things simple.

19 minTierney chases down a lost cause in the left corner and wins the ball back for Celtic. He knocks it inside to Sinclair, but the winger's first touch isn't good enough and Anderlecht recover to pinch it from him.

21 minHome captain Hanni is given space to turn and lifts a ball over the top for Onyekuru. His first touch gets away from him and Gordon just about shadows the ball out of play for a goal kick.

23 minNtcham has been so sloppy in this opening quarter. A simple pass to Boyata is wayward and only the backtracking of Tierney prevents an Anderlecht break. I'm sure we will see Stuart Armstrong in the second half.

24 minSinclair threads a nice pass through to Tierney, but the full-back's cutback is poor and intercepted. Celtic's attack has been focussed on the left flank, with Patrick Roberts seeing little of the ball as yet.

26 minCeltic get the first corner and go to a training-ground routine of knocking it to Griffiths at the back post. He has yards of space to head across goal, but Simunovic is called for a foul while trying to win the second ball.

28 minThere is a stoppage in play as Anderlecht defender Uros Spajic receives some treatment after taking a knock under the challenge of Sinclair. Rodgers uses the break to pull Ntcham to the side for some instruction - stop giving the ball away would be a start.

30 minUPDATE: It is proving to be an absolute cakewalk for Man United in Russia. They now lead 3-0 thanks to Anthony Martial's penalty and another from Lukaku. No sign of a break in the deadlock here, though.

32 minGood reading of the game from Adrien Trebel, Anderlecht's French midfielder who backtracks sensibly to cut out a promising ball to Sinclair. The hosts are still down to 10 with Spajic still off the field with the magic sponge.

35 minSpajic has made an unlikely recover to return to the centre of Anderlecht's defence, but the injury might still be affecting him as Sinclair bursts past him and forces the Serbian into a foul on the left edge of the box. Set-piece opportunity for Celtic and the bodies come pouring forward...

36 minNothing comes of the free kick as Deschacht heads clear. The defender has served Anderlecht for 20 years and is making his 99th appearance for them in European competition tonight.

38 minGOAL! ANDERLECHT 0-1 CELTIC (LEIGH GRIFFITHS)

38 minCeltic go in front with their first real opportunity of the game, and it comes through a really lovely move too. Ntcham's passing has been so poor, but he picks out Tierney's run with a superb ball inside the Anderlecht right-back, and his delivery to the back post is just as good for Griffiths to tap home from five yards.

Leigh Griffiths in action for Celtic on February 19, 2015© SilverHub


40 minCHANCE! Anderlecht nearly equalise immediately as Hanni turns away from Boyata and shoots low with his left foot, forcing Gordon into a decent low save. Celtic's defence completely fell asleep there.

42 minGriffiths makes a nice run in behind and Lustig should really find the striker, who is fresh off his seventh goal of the season. The pass from Celtic's long-serving Swede is picked off by Deschacht.

44 minSUBSTITUTION: Spajic is now replaced, a good 20 minutes after first picking up that knock on his ankle. Kara Mbodji, who has had his own injury concerns of late and would usually start if at 100% is his replacement just before the break.

45+1 minTeodorczyk gets through down the left and rolls the ball across goal from a tight angle, with what was neither a cross or a shot. Feint penalty appeals for handball against Tierney are turned down, and Celtic should now get to the interval with their lead intact.

45+2 minHALF TIME: ANDERLECHT 0-1 CELTIC

8.36pmThe visiting Scots go wild for the half-time whistle, and Brendan Rodgers will be just as happy as his team enters the tunnel with the lead despite not playing well for the majority of the opening 45 minutes.

8.38pmCeltic struggled to find their passing game until suddenly locating it for Griffiths' 38th-minute goal. Ntcham played in Tierney with an inch-perfect through ball, and the highly-rated full-back expertly picked out his striker in the six-yard box. Anderlecht had one chance to equalise when Hammi tested Gordon, but otherwise were equally uninspired going forward.

8.40pmUPDATE: PSG are making a statement in Group B's other game, leading Bayern 2-0 at the interval with Edinson Cavani getting the second. Chelsea trail 1-0 to Atletico Madrid, while Manchester United are cruising at CSKA Moscow with three unanswered goals.

8.43pmAs it stands, Celtic are on course for their first away European win since a 3-2 success at Spartak Moscow in 2012. Anderlecht have played into their hands by sitting off them and their rookie manager will surely encourage a more proactive attacking approach in the second half.

8.45pmSTATS: Celtic have had a massive 72% possession; a staggering figure for a European away game. Anderlecht have had twice as many shots (four) but have only tested Gordon once.

46 minThe action us back underway, with both sides unchanged, apart from that first-half defensive change from Anderlecht. This is a massive half for Celtic and the fate of their European campaign

47 minCHANCE! Hanni cleverly spins away from Brown and unleashes a dipping 25-yard shot which Gordon parries to Teodorczyk. He scuffs his finish from 10 yards out and is spared embarrassment by the offside flag. A nervy moment for the Bhoys early in the second period.

49 minFor the second time in quick succession, Hanni gets the better of Brown and quickly releases Teodorczyk with a through pass. Again the whistle signals the end of the danger, and the Anderlecht captain is furious that he was penalised for his tackle on his opposite number, with some justification.

50 minGOAL! ANDERLECHT 0-2 CELTIC (PATRICK ROBERTS)

50 minIt is a massive second goal for Celtic, gifted to them by shambolic Anderlecht defending. Dendoncker plays Deschacht into trouble with a pacey pass across the back line, but I'm not sure what the veteran defender was trying to do with it, and his ill-advised flick falls to Roberts who cuts inside and scores from 15 yards.

His shot was heading straight into the arms of Boeckx, but took a deflection off Kara on its way into the bottom corner. Roberts runs away in celebration and the Bhoys have a 2-0 cushion now.


53 minGreat defending by Tierney as he makes up a lot of ground to slide in on Hanni and stop a promising Anderlecht attack in its tracks. Hanni has started the second half brightly and has certainly been Anderlecht's biggest threat.

55 minNtcham nearly releases Griffiths down the right channel, but the ball hits the heel of the striker and Kara comes across to quell the danger. Griffiths was isolated and had little support, anyway.

57 minAnderlecht move the ball nicely across the box, with Teodorczyk teeing up Hanni for a powerful left-footed shot which rises over the crossbar.

58 minMISS! Brilliant opportunity for Roberts to wrap up three vital points. Tierney is again the source, and his cutback reaches Roberts, who shoots wide on the turn from 10 yards. Rogic was available for a layoff on the edge of the box and might have been the better option.

60 minGordon rushes out to make a good block from Teodorczyk, against whom the offside flag is again raised. That looked like a tight one, but the Polish striker was unable to apply the finish in any case.

62 minSUBSTITUTION: The villain of the piece from Anderlecht's point of view has been withdrawn, with Romanian midfielder Nicolae Stanciu replacing Deschacht as the hosts switch to a 4-2-3-1.

64 minSUBSTITUTION: Rodgers answers with his first change, swapping Rogic for Callum McGregor in midfield. The youngster is very tidy on the ball and should help Celtic keep possession.

67 minHe did not start well, but Ntcham is having a significant impact on this game now. Stanciu has space to turn and threatens to get a shot away from 20 yards before the Frenchman makes an important tackle.

68 minTeodorczyk finds himself in a familiar offside position, not that it mattered again with his poke towards goal too weak to trouble Gordon. Onyekuru had produced a nice lofted pass to play him in.

70 minSUBSTITUTIONS: Both captains are done for the night as Massimo Bruno replaces the dangerous Hanni, and Scott Brown is forced off with an injury which will be a concern for Rodgers. Nir Biton is on for the Celtic skipper in central midfield.

72 minA couple of decent chances for Celtic to wrap this up, as Bitton drags a shot wide with one of his first contributions, and McGregor dallying on the ball in a great position from Roberts' cutback.

73 minSAVE! Gerkens, who we have seen very little of from an attacking perspective, takes aim from range and forces Gordon to parry over the crossbar. An Anderlecht goal now would set up an interesting climax.

76 minSUBSTITUTION: Final change for Celtic as Rodgers swaps Roberts for James Forrest, the winger who scored in their last Champions League group stage win remember, over Ajax in 2013.

78 minUPDATE: PSG have wrapped up victory over Bayern thanks to a third from Neymar. As it stands, Celtic will be level on points with the German giants ahead of their trip to Munich.

79 minGriffiths ignores the run of Sinclair to his left to shoot wide from 20 yards. The striker apologises to his teammate following his poor effort, which was dragged wide, but he is on course to be Celtic's hero tonight so I'm sure Sinclair will forgive him for that one.

82 minThis has been a very mature second-half performance from Celtic. Boyata has been excellent at the back and Ntcham has overcome his poor start to offer excellent protection to the defence.

84 minChipciu gets forward from right back and clips a cross to the back post, where Onyekuru heads wide on the stretch. The 20-year-old Everton loanee has been quiet after a bright start.

86 minAnderlecht aren't really knocking on the door here. Celtic are playing the clock down well, winning free kicks to slow the play and keeping the ball without taking any risks in possession.

89 minIt looks as though Celtic are going to see this game out fairly comfortably. This will be a huge win for the Bhoys and puts them in a great position to finish at least third in the star-studded Group B.

90 minThere will be three minutes of added time. The Celtic fans are in full voice now!

90+3 minGOAL! ANDERLECHT 0-3 CELTIC (SCOTT SINCLAIR)

90+3 minSinclair adds the icing on the cake with the last kick of the game, finishing confidently with his left foot on a Celtic counter attack. Ntcham strode forward and played in Celtic's top goalscorer for his 10th in the season, and a goal which makes this a famous victory in Brussels.

9.38pmFULL TIME: ANDERLECHT 0-3 CELTIC

9.41pmWhat a massive win for the Scottish champions, and a comprehensive one by full time. They were a little fortunate to lead at the break, but produced a very mature defensive performance in the second half and picked off Anderlecht when they needed to. Brendan Rodgers will be thrilled.

9.43pmIt is Celtic's first Champions League win since 2013, their first away win in Europe in five years, and their first group stage win in 16 attempts. Read our match report on this huge victory here.

9.45pmThanks for joining Sports Mole for live coverage from the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium. Catch up with all of tonight's Champions League results here, and join us tomorrow for minute-by-minute updates of Arsenal and Everton in the Europa League. Until then, goodbye!

Brendan Rodgers watches on during the Champions League game between Manchester City and Celtic on December 6, 2016
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Club BruggeBrugge22173255213454
2CharleroiCharleroi22135437201744
3Anderlecht2213453226643
4GentGent22105730181235
5Royal AntwerpAntwerp229853226635
6Sint-Truiden238872732-532
7Waasland-BeverenWaasland2293104036430
8KortrijkKortrijk2385103236-429
9Standard Liege237882529-429
10Genk226972929027
11Zulte WaregemZulte2382133541-626
12Royal Excel MouscronMouscron2375112941-1226
13KV OostendeOostende2274112829-125
14LokerenLokeren2266102434-1024
15MechelenMechelen2346132139-1818
16EupenEupen2237122948-1916
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