Zenit St Petersburg 3 v Celtic 0 – story of the match

Celtic crashed out of the Europa League in abject fashion with a 3-0 defeat against Zenit St Petersburg in Russia.

Former Chelsea defender Branislav Ivanovic cancelled out Celtic’s 1-0 first-leg lead inside eight minutes with a free header and Dorus de Vries was beaten by a shot into the middle of his net by Daler Kuzyaev in the 27th minute.

Celtic did not pose a threat in the first half and their hopes were extinguished by more poor defending in the 61st minute as Aleksandr Kokorin netted at the far post.

Tweet of the match

Home and away

Zenit had won 17 of their previous 19 home games in the Europa League and had only lost one out of 24. Celtic had failed to record a victory in their last 14 away games in the competition. On the back of those records, the result was little surprise, but Celtic had dominated the first leg.

View from the bench

Brendan Rodgers kept faith with the same players who impressed at Parkhead but they looked a different team. Zenit had only really come out of their shell at Parkhead after Callum McGregor’s 78th-minute goal and Celtic’s defensive frailties were exposed at the first signs of pressure. Jozo Simunovic lost Ivanovic at a corner, which De Vries had needlessly conceded, the goalkeeper was caught on the hop by a straightforward effort for the second before Mikael Lustig failed to track his man at the third.

Stat attack

Incredibly, Celtic had a 63 per cent share of possession and completed more than double the passes of their opponents (562) with a greater passing accuracy of 90 per cent. But they failed to get a shot on target until the second half with their efforts coming from outside the box, after their weakness at the back had given them a mountain to climb.

Player ratings

Zenit: Andrei Lunev 6, Branislav Ivanovic 8, Emanuel Mammana 7, Domenico Criscito 7, Miha Mevlja 6, Matias Kranevitter 6, Emiliano Rigoni 6, Leandro Paredes 6, Daler Kuzyaev 7, Aleksandr Kokorin 7, Anton Zabolotny 6. Subs: Aleksandr Erokhin (for Zabolotny, 76) 5, Sebastian Driussi (for Rigoni, 84) 4, Igor Smolnikov (for Ivanovic, 87) 4.

Celtic: Dorus de Vries 4, Mikael Lustig 4, Jozo Simunovic 4, Kristoffer Ajer 5, Kieran Tierney 5, Scott Brown 6, Olivier Ntcham 7, Eboue Kouassi 5, James Forrest 6, Callum McGregor 5, Moussa Dembele 6. Subs: Tom Rogic (for Kouassi, 45) 5, Scott Sinclair (for McGregor, 62) 6, Charly Musonda (for Forrest, 71) 6.

Who’s up next?

Zenit v Amkar Perm, Russian Premier League, Saturday March 3

Aberdeen v Celtic, Ladbrokes Premiership, Sunday February 25

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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