CELTIC’S hopes of progressing in the Champions League were dented after RB Leipzig eventually triumphed in a frantic and entertaining contest.
Jota’s second-half equaliser hauled the Scottish champions level after Christopher Nkunku had put Leipzig ahead in a fiercely contested first half in a packed Red Bull Arena.
But their good work was undone when goalkeeper, Joe Hart gave the ball straight to Dominik Szoboszlai, who teed up Andre Silva to score the first of his two goals.
The Portuguese striker rounded off a brilliant Leipzig move to ensure the German side leapfrog Celtic in Group F, with Ange Postecoglou’s team still searching for their first win before a re-match in Glasgow next week as they now sit bottom of their section.
Leipzig were menacing in the final third throughout, with Nkunku denied a goal earlier in the game by the video assistant referee for offside, before the Frenchman, who has been linked with a move to Chelsea in January, slotted home as the hosts pounced on the counter.
After Jota had equalised, the impressive Szoboszlai hit a post after a fantastic move involving Nkunku, and then his crisp effort into the far corner was ruled out after the referee reviewed footage of Silva blocking Hart’s view from an offside position.
But Celtic – who themselves created plenty of chances but were not helped by the loss of Callum McGregor to injury before the break – lived to regret not taking advantage of that reprieve, as Hart immediately passed the ball straight to Szoboszlai, and Silva made him pay.
The Leipzig forward then capped another fine move in which Nkunku pinged a fantastic pass across to Mohamed Simakan to provide the assist.
It was a sad end for Celtic, who until Hart’s error had played well. Jota’s equaliser was a well-worked goal, as Reo Hatate picked off a slack pass before feeding Kyogo Furuhashi, who crossed for his Portuguese team-mate to slide home.