Odsonne Edouard provided a swift riposte to a late setback as Celtic secured a vital 2-1 Europa League win over RB Leipzig.
Brendan Rodgers’ side, for whom defeat would have ended their qualification hopes, had lost back-to-back matches in Group B, including a 2-0 reverse against Leipzig last time out.
And they looked to be heading for a deflating draw when Jean-Kevin Augustin cancelled out Kieran Tierney’s first-half opener with 12 minutes remaining at Celtic Park.
However, Edouard hit back within 65 seconds to move the Scottish Premiership champions level with their visitors on six points with two games remaining.
The Frenchman, on his 50th #CelticFC appearance, restores the Hoops’ lead! #CELRBL #UEL pic.twitter.com/R9PYaxaria
— Celtic Football Club (@CelticFC) November 8, 2018
Celtic had rebounded from their Leipzig loss by scoring 13 goals in a three-game winning streak, including a 5-0 thrashing of title rivals Hearts, but they made a timid start to this clash.
The hosts were forced onto the back foot early in the game but broke the deadlock completely against the run of play.
James Forrest’s cross eluded everyone except the alert Tierney, who took a touch before sweeping a low strike beyond Yvon Mvogo.
Leipzig knew a victory would secure their spot in the last 32 but they struggled to mount a meaningful response and Craig Gordon remained largely untested.
Mvogo was called into action in the 55th minute, making an untidy stop from Edouard’s low shot, but Celtic retained an air of understandable caution.
They were forced out of their shell by Augustin’s headed leveller from Konrad Laimer’s delivery, but the reaction was rapid as Ryan Christie squared for Edouard to seal a dramatic triumph.
Rodgers – who breathed a sigh of relief when Matheus Cunha hit the crossbar late on – takes his team to pointless Rosenborg on November 29, while Leipzig make the trip to take on a Salzburg side still boasting a 100 per cent record.