Atlético Madrid 6-0 Celtic: Maeda sees first-half red as Celtic hit for six at the Metropolitano

Celtic’s UEFA Champions League campaign certainly didn’t get off to the best start with defeats to Feyenoord and Lazio, but a 2-2 draw against Atlético Madrid at Celtic Park last time out restored slender hopes of progression ahead of a tough return leg on Tuesday evening.

ATM: Oblak; Riquelme, Hermoso, Giménez, Wiesel, Molina; Griezmann, Koke, Barrios; Morata, Correa

CEL: Hart; Taylor, Scales, Carter-Vickers, Johnston; Bernardo, McGregor, O’Riley; Palma, Furuhashi, Maeda

Perhaps Celtic’s expectations were artificially elevated by that spectacular draw in Glasgow two weeks ago, but the travelling crowd were quickly brought back down to earth as Antoine Griezmann sent a deflected effort tumbling past Joe Hart with just six minutes on the Cívitas Metropolitano clock.

Yet bad would quickly turn to worse for Brendan Rodgers’ men, as Daizen Maeda was dismissed shortly after the twenty-minute mark. Having caught Mario Hermoso’s shin and been shown a yellow card, Ivan Kruzliak was asked to review the booking – ultimately upgrading it to an instant dismissal.

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Celtic did well to hold on to their one-goal deficit, but when Álvaro Morata smashed home a second goal just before the break, los Rojiblancos never looked back as they cruised to a comfortable victory in the Spanish capital.

Not content with just the opening goal, Griezmann doubled his personal tally to put Atlético three goals clear – and with a simply stunning acrobatic overhead kick that put an end to any hopes of a Celtic comeback.

Samuel Lino became involved in the goalscoring action just a minute after his introduction from the substitutes bench, curling a strike into the far corner with twenty-four minutes of regulation time left to play.

Everything the hosts touched turned to gold, and that trend continued ten minutes later when Morata completed his brace from the edge of the penalty area. Saul Níguez brought an end to the rout in the 84th minute, as he poked home a scruffy sixth to put an end to Celtic’s misery.

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It’s a result that all but ends Celtic’s hopes of qualification for the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League, as they sit five points off Feyenoord – with the Dutch side currently occupying third place in the group.

Celtic return to Glasgow this weekend as they host Aberdeen on Sunday afternoon, but they’ll likely have one eye already on their trip to Rome’s Stadio Olimpico – where they’ll face a Lazio side that could confirm their European elimination.