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Celtic on top but Berget gives Malmö hope

Celtic 3-2 Malmö
Ex-Celtic loanee Jo Inge Berget kept Swedish hopes alive with a last-gasp goal though Leigh Griffiths's double won it on the night for the hosts.

Leigh Griffiths celebrates making it 1-0
Leigh Griffiths celebrates making it 1-0 ©Getty Images
  • Leigh Griffiths double and Nir Bitton header earn Celtic first-leg advantage
  • Jo Inge Berget's second-half pair gives Swedish champions hope 
  • Malmö goalscorer exacts revenge on former club after 2014/15 loan spell
  • Tie to conclude on Tuesday in Malmö New Stadium

A double from Leigh Griffiths plus a Nir Bitton header helped Celtic to a UEFA Champions League play-off first-leg success against Malmö in Glasgow but the tie is anything but over after former Hoops loanee Jo Inge Berget bagged a second-half pair of his own.

Ronny Deila's side got off to the perfect start with Griffiths justifying his starting place within three minutes as he calmly slotted past Johan Wiland from Stefan Johansen's through ball. The Norwegian was the provider again in the tenth minute as Bitton rose highest to nod home a corner as Celtic threatened to put the tie beyond the Swedish champions before it had barely begun.

Celtic celebrate going 3-1 up
Celtic celebrate going 3-1 up©Getty Images

It took Åge Hareide's men until the 21st minute to muster their first shot on target when Craig Gordon pushed Vladimir Rodić's shot to safety. Some slack passing in midfield gifted Malmö more possession as half-time approached although Stuart Armstrong came close to adding a third for the hosts when his curling shot whistled just over.

Celtic's domination continued in the opening stages of the second half but the Scottish title holders were stung on 52 minutes when Berget rifled an unstoppable angled shot past Gordon from a Magnus Eikrem cross to give Malmö a potentially priceless away goal. Now we had a game on our hands and Rodić tested Gordon again moments later with a drive from outside the area.

However, Griffiths eased the nerves of the home support just after the hour when his looping header went in off the post after Anton Tinnerholm's clearing header failed to relieve danger. Even so, Berget put the tie back in the balance in the dying seconds as he lashed the ball into the roof of the net from close range when a corner dropped kindly for the No23.

Ronny Deila, Celtic manager
You can be disappointed when you concede a goal in the last second. But it happens. We're one goal ahead and they have to beat us in Malmo. It could've been better but it's an OK result. We played well in the first half, we were all over them and we scored two great goals. I believe we can do it in Malmo. We can beat Malmö for sure, absolutely.

Åge Hareide, Malmö coach
It was a terrible start for us, conceding two goals in ten minutes. We'll have to look into that. But credit to the boys who managed to get back into the game. I think we let ourselves down at the beginning of the game. We got gradually better. I think the whole side was working very hard to get back in. At 2-1 we had control of the match because Celtic were getting tired, they don't have the legs for 90 minutes as we had seen against Inverness. But we made silly mistakes and we can't do that at this level. We worked very, very hard to go back to 3-2. Now we have a good chance, as at home we only need one goal.

Leigh Griffiths celebrates his opener
Leigh Griffiths celebrates his opener©Getty Images
Nir Bitton enjoys making it 2-0
Nir Bitton enjoys making it 2-0©Getty Images
Bitton had risen high to score
Bitton had risen high to score©Getty Images
The two early goalscorers
The two early goalscorers©Getty Images
The visitors celebrate pulling a goal back
The visitors celebrate pulling a goal back©Getty Images
Griffiths heads in Celtic's third
Griffiths heads in Celtic's third©Getty Images
...and takes the plaudits
...and takes the plaudits©Getty Images

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