Gustaf Lagerbielke emerged as an unexpected hero in Celtic’s long-awaited Champions League victory against Feyenoord at Parkhead. The game was marked by late drama as Luis Palma’s penalty and Yankuba Minteh’s equalizer set the stage. However, substitute Lagerbielke secured a 2-1 win with a stoppage-time header, marking his first goal for Celtic since September. The Swedish defender nodded in the decisive goal from close range following a precise cross by Matt O’Riley after sustained pressure from Celtic following a corner.

This win broke a 16-game winless streak for Celtic in the Champions League group stage, dating back to their victory against Anderlecht six years ago. It also marked their first home win since defeating Ajax in October 2013.

The thrilling finish energized the previously subdued home crowd and helped Celtic, positioned at the bottom of Group E, double their last year’s two-point tally.

The match saw Stephen Welsh’s return to the Celtic lineup after a four-month injury absence, and Kyogo Furuhashi started after two appearances as a substitute. Despite this, injuries forced early substitutions for Celtic, with Mikey Johnston and Tomoki Iwata replaced.

Feyenoord made several changes and their vocal away supporters highlighted the lack of atmosphere in the stadium, contrasting with their chants mocking the home crowd.

The game witnessed numerous opportunities for both teams in the opening stages, with Furuhashi denied by Feyenoord’s goalkeeper and contentious offside calls. Celtic broke the deadlock through Palma’s penalty after a corner, amid Feyenoord’s protests following a foul on Liam Scales.

Celtic survived several close calls before halftime, with Hart making crucial saves and Geertruida hitting the post for Feyenoord. Palma and Celtic had chances to extend their lead in the second half, but Biljow denied them.

Rodgers made strategic substitutions, introducing Lagerbielke and 17-year-old Mitchel Frame. Minteh’s goal for Feyenoord leveled the score, setting the stage for a tense finish. However, Lagerbielke’s late winner sparked celebrations among fans, although one pitch invader drew Rodgers’ ire as he was led away by stewards. Celtic held on for the win amidst late pressure from Feyenoord.

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