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Mixed emotions for Griffiths and Celtic

Celtic's Leigh Griffiths scored twice against Malmö on his first European start this season but his joy was tempered by "a couple of lapses of concentration" in the 3-2 first-leg win.

Leigh Griffiths's two goals could prove crucial next week
Leigh Griffiths's two goals could prove crucial next week ©Getty Images

It proved to be a tale of two forwards in Glasgow as Leigh Griffiths scored twice while former Celtic loanee Jo Inge Berget came back to haunt his former manager Ronny Deila with a second-half double that leaves the play-off tie on a knife-edge going into next Tuesday's return leg at Malmö.

Griffiths had come off the bench in both instalments of Celtic's previous UEFA Champions League qualifiers this season – against Stjarnan and Qarabağ – with Nadir Çiftçi preferred in the lone striker's role, but the Scottish international made the most of his opportunity by grabbing a goal in each half.

"It's great to get the win although disappointing to lose two away goals," Griffiths, 25 today, told UEFA.com. "I am always confident of scoring goals and tonight I proved that at the top level. It's my job to give the manager a problem and all I can do is score goals.

"The manager pulled me aside the day before the game and told me I was starting, so I had to keep focused and it paid off after three minutes. It was a great start. The gaffer wanted us to come out and play at a high tempo and after 15 minutes we were cruising. At 2-0 we looked comfortable, but a couple of lapses of concentration have cost us dear.

Leigh Griffiths and Celtic's other scorer, Nir Bitton
Leigh Griffiths and Celtic's other scorer, Nir Bitton©Getty Images

"We're still in front in the tie and Malmö have to come out and attack us. We showed against Qarabağ that we can keep a clean sheet away from home, but we have a job to do over there and the boys in the dressing room believe we can do it."

Meanwhile, it turned out to be a special return for Malmö front man Berget, who endured a disappointing loan spell at Celtic from Cardiff City last term, managing two goals in eight outings. In the build-up to this first leg the Norwegian international said he had a point to prove and he did so in emphatic style, netting a dramatic second goal with the last kick of the game in the fifth minute of added time.

"Of course, it's a good feeling to get two goals here," said Berget, 24. "It meant a little bit extra for me since I didn't do well here. The second goal is massive for Malmö – 3-2 is a much better result than 3-1 to take back home, so we should be pleased. The tie is still pretty open. We have a good record at home in Europe, but as things stand Celtic are through and they are good enough to hold the lead and get a draw."

Jo Inge Berget roars with delight after scoring against a team he played for last season
Jo Inge Berget roars with delight after scoring against a team he played for last season©AFP/Getty Images

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