Rosenborg 0-1 Celtic: Scott Sinclair header helps side close in on knock-out stages

Scott Sinclair headed home his fifth goal of the seasonCeltic moved to within a point of reaching the Europa League knock-out stages with an efficient victory over Rosenborg in Trondheim.Scott Sinclair headed home the only goal from a sumptuous James Forrest cross three minutes before half-time.With RB Salzburg beating RB Leipzig to qualify as group winners, Celtic have their destiny in their own hands.They need a point against the Austrians in their final group game on 13 December to guarantee qualification.Leipzig – who finish at home to Rosenborg – remain in contention for second spot, but Celtic will fancy their chances of progress after their first Europa League away win – at the 17th attempt – since the competition was rebranded in 2009-10.Their sixth victory from seven matches – the other a draw – since losing 2-0 to Leipzig on 25 October, gave their swelling confidence a further boost leading into Sunday’s League Cup final against Aberdeen at Hampden.Reaction and re-live the match as it happenedRogic return sparks Celtic Tom Rogic, returning to the Celtic side in place of the benched Olivier Ntcham, looked keen to pick up where he left off before the international break.The Australian midfielder tired late on but was a prominent figure in a first half-hour which saw the visitors dominate possession but initially fail to make their ascendancy count.Rogic thumped an effort over before picking up a loose pass, driving into the box and threading a pass through for Odsonne Edouard, but the French striker was slow to react as the hosts cleared the danger.The half-chances continued to flow. Ryan Christie’s snap-shot was deflected wide; Rogic had another shot blocked; Forrest couldn’t quite get control of a pin-point cross from Christie. Rogic then brought an excellent save from Anders Hansen as the Rosenborg keeper got down well to save his low shot.When the breakthrough arrived, it came in style. The in-form Forrest turned Tore Reginiussen on the right flank and stood up a lovely cross to the far post, where Sinclair headed home emphatically.

Rosenborg, in front of a sparse crowd inside the Lerkendal Stadium, threatened only sporadically as they slumped to a fifth group defeat out of five.Yann-Erik de Lanlay dispossessed Sinclair on the right and steered a powerful cross across the face of the box that eluded Nicklas Bendtner, the former Arsenal striker playing despite having a 50-day jail term hanging over his head after dropping his appeal against the assault of a taxi driver.Celtic were also grateful for the intervention of Filip Benkovic in the early moments of the second half, the Croat centre-back reacting quickest to a dangerous cross from Birger Meling.But while the hosts made it more of an even contest after the interval, the visitors saw out the game in reasonable comfort.They might have had more goals – Edouard’s close-range effort diverted wide before he made way for Leigh Griffiths, who let fly with a dipping shot in stoppage time.But one ultimately proved enough, setting up an enticing group finale at Celtic Park in a fortnight.’Celtic played with poise and purpose’ – analysisBBC Scotland’s Martin Dowden in TrondheimCeltic arrived with the kind of poise and purpose that has been lacking in many an away European fixture. Their movement, awareness and quality of passing were all at a high standard and the tempo was impressive. They dominated the ball and when they lost it were quick to regain possession and attack.The only criticism you could muster in the first half was the number of chances that passed by before Forrest’s exquisite chip gave Sinclair the easiest of finishes.In truth, Celtic should have been out of sight with the outcome done and dusted long before the closing stages which became ever so slightly nervy.However, the win was fully deserved and vital for their hopes to qualify. They now have a fabulous opportunity to go further. It is now very much in their hands.

Celtic secured just their third away group stage win in Europe in 45 attemptsMatch statsCeltic have only lost one of their 10 all-time meetings with Rosenborg in European competition (W7 D2), keeping six clean sheets in total.Winger Scott Sinclair scored his first European group-stage goal since September 2017 (v Anderlecht in the Champions League).Rosenborg failed to register a shot on target in both games against Celtic in the Europa League this season.The Norwegians have failed to qualify from the group stages in each of their five Europa League campaigns.They have failed to keep a clean sheet in each of their 29 Europa League games, conceding 59 goals.

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