Celtic news: UEFA fine Hoops £11,000 for fans setting off flares and throwing objects during Europa League play-off

20 Sep

Celtic have been handed an £11,000 fine for their fans setting off flares and throwing objects during their Europa League play-off win in Sweden last month.

The Hoops booked their place in the group stage of the competition with a 4-1 win at the Friends Arena in Stockholm, going through 6-1 on aggregate.

Celtic won the tie easily

But the match was somewhat overshadowed by the crowd trouble.

And UEFA’S control, ethics and disciplinary body met on Thursday to rule on the charges against the Scottish Premiership club.

Celtic claimed that some Swedish supporters managed to infiltrate the away end as fans and police clashed.

However, the Scottish champions will have to cough up the £11,000 following the ruling.

AIK have been fined £7,000 for stairways being blocked.

AIK were also punished but were not fined as much as Celtic
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This latest charge is the 17th time Celtic have been fined by European football’s governing body since 2007.

Their previous punishment came in 2017 when they were forced to pay £8,900 after a fan ran on to the pitch and tried to kick Paris Saint-Germain striker Kylian Mbappe in the Champions League.

Meanwhile, Celtic’s Glasgow rivals Rangers have had a section of Ibrox closed for their last two Europa League home games this season after being charged by Uefa for ‘racist behaviour’ by their supporters in games at St Joseph’s and Legia Warsaw.

Celtic got their 2019/20 Europa League campaign off to a decent start with a 1-1 draw at French club Rennes.


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Ryan Christie cancelled out Mbaye Niang’s earlier penalty in a game that also saw Hoops forward Vakoun Bayo sent off.

The Ivorian had only been on the pitch a matter of minutes.

Celtic also face Italian side Lazio and CFR Cluj of Romania in Group E.

Neil Lennon’s men are currently top of the Scottish top flight, having amassed 15 points from their opening five league games.

Arsenal Europa League draw 2019/20: What time is the draw, when are the fixtures and what is the worst case scenario for the Gunners?

30 Aug

Arsenal may well still be licking their wounds from their Europa League final thrashing three months ago, but have the chance to claim their redemption.

The Gunners were beaten 4-1 by Premier League rivals Chelsea in Baku as their last chance to qualify for the Champions League was firmly extinguished.

Arsenal fans will be hoping to go one better in the Europa League this season
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Unai Emery has terrific pedigree in the competition, having lifted the trophy three times whilst coaching Sevilla.

However, the Spaniard will be all too aware of the physical and mental exertions an extended run in the competition can have.

When is the Europa League group stage draw?

This year’s group stage draw will be held in Monaco.

It will be held on Friday, August 30, with the draw getting underway at 12pm GMT (midday).

The Champions League draw was also held in the same venue, although it took place on Thursday.

Which TV channel and live stream can I watch it on?

talkSPORT 2 will be broadcasting the draw live on air and fans can tune in here.

If you want to watch on TV, BT Sport will be broadcasting proceedings from the south of France on BT Sport 2.


Pot 1

  • Sevilla
  • Arsenal
  • Porto
  • Roma
  • Dynamo Kiev
  • Besiktas
  • Basel
  • Sporting CP
  • CSKA Moscow
  • Wolfsburg
  • Lazio

Pot 2

  • PSV Eindhoven
  • Krasnodar
  • Celtic
  • Copenhagen
  • Braga
  • Gent
  • Borussia Monchengladbach
  • Young Boys
  • Astana
  • Ludogorets
  • Eintracht Franfurt

Pot 3

  • St Etienne
  • Qarabag
  • Feyenoord
  • Getafe
  • Espanyol
  • Malmo
  • Partizan
  • Standard Liege
  • Rennes
  • Rosenborg
  • Istanbul Basaksehir

Pot 4

  • AZ Aalkmaar
  • Vitoria de Guimaraes
  • Trabszonspor
  • Oleksandriya
  • Dudelange
  • LASK Linz
  • Wolfsberger
  • Slovan Bratislava
  • Lugano
  • Rangers
  • Cluj
  • Ferencvaros

What is Arsenal’s worst case scenario?

Pot 2 – PSV Eindhoven

PSV ran Champions League finalists Spurs close last season

While drawing Celtic would still be a nightmare for the Gunners, facing PSV Eindhoven would be considered the worst draw from Pot 2.

The Eredivisie side held Tottenham Hotspur to a draw last season at home, before succumbing to two late goals in the return fixture in north London.

Although former Chelsea and Manchester United target Hirving Lozano has left the Netherlands, PSV are still a team to fear.

They will want to watch out for former Gunner Donyell Malen, he scored ten league goals last season and is already up and running in the Eredivisie this year.

Pot 3 – Qarabag

Arsenal fans would dread another trip to Azerbaijan

As mentioned before, Arsenal fans have painful memories from Azerbaijan they would like to expunge.

But more than the result, the logistics involved in organising travel and accommodation for the crossing to the Caucasus proved to be a nightmare.

The Gunners beat Qarabag home and away in the group stages of last season, but the extra time spent travelling could be detrimental to their Premier League form.

Pot 4 – Rangers

Steven Gerrard will relish a chance to exhibit his managerial skills in England
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Rangers qualified for the Europa League after overcoming Legia Warsaw in their qualifier on Wednesday evening.

Alfredo Morelos scored in stoppage time to secure a 1-0 win at Ibrox and the Gers will fancy themselves to beat anyone at home.

A ‘Battle of Britain’ type of fixture is exactly the sort of game Arsenal fans have become accustomed to seeing their team crumble under the pressure of.

Europa League round-up: Wolves, Celtic and Rangers join Manchester United and Arsenal in group stage

29 Aug

There will be five British teams playing in this season’s Europa League after Wolves, Celtic and Rangers all got through their respective qualifying matches.

Wolves beat Torino at Molineux and will join fellow Premier League sides Manchester United and Arsenal in the Europa League proper.

Wolves made reasonably light work of Torino
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Steven Gerrard’s Rangers made it through in dramatic circumstances with a last-gasp goal enough to make them progress at Legia Warsaw’s expense.

Celtic’s path to the groups was far more straightforward as they thrashed AIK in Sweden.

There was no such luck for Northern Irish side Linfield, who were suffered an agonising defeat on away goals to Azerbaijani side Qarabag.

Below you can see the match reports for Wolves, Rangers and Celtic on a night of British success in the Europa League.

Wolves 2-1 Torino (Agg. 5-3)

Raul Jimenez and Leander Dendoncker fired Wolves into the Europa League group stage after a 2-1 win over Torino.

Striker Jimenez struck his sixth goal in six European games to help send the hosts through 5-3 on aggregate in their play-off.

Andrea Belotti briefly levelled in the second half before Dendoncker struck to cap victory at Molineux, extending Wolves’ first European campaign since 1980.

Jimenez continues his good goalscoring run in Europe
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Rangers 1-0 Legia Warsaw (Agg. 1-0)

A dramatic stoppage-time goal from Alfredo Morelos goal saw Rangers advance to the Europa League group stages with a 1-0 win over Legia Warsaw at Ibrox.

It was a frustrating night for Steven Gerrard’s men against their obdurate Polish visitors, having drawn the first leg 0-0 in Warsaw last week.

However, in a game of few chances, Morelos nodded in Jordan Jones’ cross to seal Rangers’ place.

Morelos goal sparked wild celebrations in Ibrox
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AIK 1-4 Celtic (Agg. 1-6) 

Christopher Jullien and Lewis Morgan scored their first Celtic goals in Stockholm as Neil Lennon’s side cruised into the Europa League group stage.

But the 4-1 win over AIK came at a cost, as a groin injury for Kristoffer Ajer made him a major doubt for Sunday’s trip to Ibrox.

Jullien and Morgan netted from close range in the opening stages, but wingers James Forrest and Michael Johnston had done the damage in the first half as Celtic went into Friday’s draw with a 6-1 aggregate victory over the Swedish champions.

Forrest netted with a brilliant counter-attacking goal in the 17th minute, but Sebastian Larsson had levelled from the spot in the 33rd minute.

Celtic will join Rangers and Wolves in the group stages

Neil Lennon’s men responded immediately and retook the lead when Oscar Linner turned the ball into his own net.

They added to their lead after the break when Jullien slid in front of Scott Brown to force Christie’s low cross over the line following a short corner four minutes from time and substitute Morgan headed Forrest’s cross home in stoppage time.

United, Arsenal, Wolves, Celtic and Rangers will learn who they’ll face in the group stage draw on Friday.


Torino vs Wolves LIVE commentary: Full talkSPORT coverage for Europa League playoff clash and confirmed teams

22 Aug

Wolves face off against Torino tonight in the first leg of their Europa League play-off.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s men have beaten Crusaders and Pyunik so far as they strive to make it into the group stages of the European competition.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves are in Europa League action tonight

But they face their biggest challenge yet in taking on a Torino side that finished seventh in the Italian top-flight last term.

Wolves claimed a fine point against Manchester United on Monday night and are now in Turin for the play-off tie before they host Burnley on Sunday.

talkSPORT 2 will have full coverage of the clash as Wolves continue their European journey.

Torino vs Wolves: How to listen

The first-leg tie will get under way at 8pm on Thursday, August 22.

Full commentary from the Olimpico di Torino will be live on talkSPORT 2, with our coverage starting at 6pm.

To tune in, just click here for the live stream or click the radio player below.

Torino vs Wolves: What has been said?

Wolves skipper Conor Coady on how his side are dealing with their hectic start to the season.

He said: “It’s something we make sure we’ve got in our game, that sort of grit and bite.

“We’ve spoken about that team spirit before – we know we’ve got some fantastic footballers in that dressing room, but more importantly fantastic friends, and we all stick together, we’re close to each other and we make sure we never, ever give up.

“It’s something we need to make sure we keep in our game for as long as possible.”

Torino star Andrea Belotti

Torino vs Wolves: Teams

Europa League: Wolverhampton Wanderers fan makes 6,370 round-trip for Pyunik Yerevan clash – only to watch 18 minutes of football

15 Aug

Forty eight Wolverhampton Wanderers fans were in Armenia last Thursday to watch their side romp to a 4-0 victory in their Europa League clash against Pyunik Yerevan.

That total would have stood at 47, if it wasn’t for a belated appearance from die-hard Wanderers fan Steve Bishop.

Bishop’s loyalty to Wolves is unquestionable – the man hasn’t missed a single game of theirs since 1976!

Sadly his trip to the Republican Stadium was a short-lived one as he arrived with 18 minutes remaining – with his side already three goals to the good.

Matt Doherty opened the scoring for the visitors with their first shot on target, before Raul Jimenez added a brace either side of the break.

Bishop did, however, get to see Ruben Neves’s stoppage time penalty which completed the rout.

More importantly, his attendance at the game kept his long-standing record going at the 14,000-capacity ground.

So was the 6,370 mile round-trip worth it in the end for Bishop?

Reliving the day to the Express and Star, he said: “At least I got to see a goal!”

“It was a frantic day, to say the least. I was scheduled for a long stop in Moscow on the way to Armenia, but by the time we took off it had been five hours.

“There was a technical fault with the plane so we were sent back into the airport.

“Then as we were finally about to land in Yerevan, we were 300ft from the floor and the plane starts going side to side – so up we go again to 20,000ft.”

He continued: “The pilot landed it in the end and got a round of applause. It was a hairy landing.

Nuno Santo’s Wolves finished seventh last season

“I know the match has already kicked off at this point so I’m in a bit of a panic to say the least.

“I ran as fast as I could through the airport and jumped in a taxi – the driver was a bit of a star and got me to the stadium as fast as he could. I think he sensed my desperation!

“We were supposed to pick our match tickets up at the ground so I had to beg my way through the first police cordon and then I saw loads of fans walking away from the stadium.

“I thought I’d blown it and the match had finished, but it was just the Pyunik fans leaving early as their team were 3-0 down!

“I finally got in with 72 minutes on the clock, I was sat diagonally opposite the Wolves fans so I waited for a break in play and made my way around the stadium.

“I knew a few friends in there and they were aware of my predicament. The match from that point is a bit of a blur to be honest.”

It wasn’t much of a break away for Bishop, who runs the Cannock Wolves supporters’ club, as he then had to catch a return flight home to 8am the next morning.

“It wasn’t an ideal trip but at least I’ve kept my record going,” he added.

“It’s 40-odd years since I missed a game, away at Hull City in 1976. Eighteen minutes definitely counts!

“The last Molineux match I missed was in 1970. My first game had been a couple of years earlier against QPR, aged nine.

“I was too young to go to the early 1970s UEFA Cup ties but I was there in Eindhoven in 1980 and I’ll be going to Turin if we play them in the next round, for sure.”

If you could bottle that loyalty up, you most certainly would do! Great work, Steve!


Rangers defeat Midtjylland 4-2 in enthralling Europa League clash as Steven Gerrard’s side secure two-goal advantage before Ibrox return

8 Aug

Rangers hit four goals in Denmark to take a huge step towards securing a Europa League play-offs place.

The Scottish side went three up against Midtjylland before emerging from a shaky second-half spell to earn a 4-2 victory in the first leg of the third qualifying round.

Scott Arfield settled Rangers nerves in Denmark as they beat Midtjylland in an enthralling Europa League thriller
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Alfredo Morelos headed Gers in front two minutes before the break and Joe Aribo and Nikola Katic struck twice inside four minutes in the second half to put the visitors in command.

The Danes struck two quickfire goals themselves and Rangers looked rattled but Scott Arfield’s calm finish gave them a healthy lead with 20 minutes remaining.

Steven Gerrard made four changes, with Allan McGregor returning from suspension and Jon Flanagan, Glen Kamara and Jordan Jones brought into the team that secured a late victory over Kilmarnock.

There were few clear-cut chances in the opening quarter but both teams showed attacking intent, the hosts mainly from set-pieces.

Morelos scored one and set one up for Rangers in Denmark
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Former Celtic defender Erik Sviatchenko made a crucial interception as James Tavernier tried to find Morelos, and McGregor pushed Evander’s searching ball past the post.

The Rangers goalkeeper then made a point-blank save from Sory Kaba’s shot after the Danes had won three headers following a long throw into the six-yard box.

McGregor punched away the resulting corner under pressure and Jones embarked on a great run from his 18-yard box before crossing just in front of Arfield.

Morelos soon grabbed the opener as he got away from his marker to guide home Tavernier’s brilliant swerving cross from seven yards.

Flanagan survived a handball claim in his box before Jones might have had a penalty after being clipped, but the winger soon set up the second in the 52nd minute.

The Northern Ireland international picked up a loose ball midway inside his own half and ran deep into home territory before feeding Aribo, who carried the ball into the box, steadied himself and fired into the far corner.

Jones soon ran at the full-back and fired a deflected effort that was tipped on to the bar and over, and the third goal came after the resulting corner was half-cleared towards Kamara on the edge of the box. The midfielder headed down to Morelos, who helped the bouncing ball on to the unmarked Katic and the Croatian supplied an excellent finish.

Rangers soon threatened to implode, though. They lost possession deep inside their half, Ryan Jack was beaten on the byline and Frank Onyeka eventually forced home the cutback on the turn in the 58th minute.

The Danes pulled another goal back five minutes later after working the ball from wide left to Kaba 20 yards out and the Guinea international fired into the bottom corner.

The hosts had their tails up and Rangers took time to settle but, once they had, they quickly regained a two-goal cushion.

Tavernier’s pass got Morelos inside the full-back and Arfield trapped his cutback before passing the ball past a defender and the keeper into the net.

Jack, Flanagan, Aribo and Morelos were booked along with two opponents in a fractious finale but McGregor did not have much to do despite the home side piling men forward.

Raul Jimenez scores twice as Wolves dominate Pyunik 4-0 in Armenia to put Premier League side within touching distance of Europa League Play-Off spot

8 Aug

Wolves are closing in on a Europa League Play-Off spot with a comprehensive 4-0 win in the qualifying third round first leg against Pyunik.

Matt Doherty’s opener, a double from Raul Jimenez and Ruben Neves’ late penalty made it an easy evening in Armenia for Nuno Espirito Santo’s side, who begin their Premier League campaign on Sunday.

They will look to complete the job next Thursday in the second leg at Molineux and move into a play-off against Torino or Shakhtyor.

Nuno Espirito Santo is leading Wolves on a European tour
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A 6,370-mile round-trip was not ideal for Wolves, but Doherty’s 29th-minute goal provided a nice tonic.

The defender was played in by Joao Moutinho and, in yards of space, he rolled home a cool finish into the far corner.

Diogo Jota missed the opportunity to make it two, but Jimenez made no mistake shortly before the break.

Jota made amends for his earlier miss by slipping the Mexican striker in and he produced an emphatic finish into the roof of the net.

The match, and probably the tie, was then made safe less than a minute after the restart.

Jota again was the provider, slipping in Jimenez who made no mistake when through one-on-one.

Jimenez’s chance to take the match ball home was denied by a header cleared off the line, but Wolves could not be prevented from scoring a fourth late on.

Neves made no mistake from the spot after Patrick Crutone was felled in stoppage time.

Pyunik v Wolves live on talkSPORT 2: Free commentary stream and confirmed line-ups for Europa League clash

8 Aug

Wolves take on FC Pyunik of Armenia in their Europa League third round qualifying match this evening.

Wolves will make the round trip of 6,370 miles just 72 hours before their opening Premier League game of the season at Leicester on Sunday.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves take on FC Pyunik in the Europa League tonight

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side beat Northern Ireland’s Crusaders 6-1 on aggregate in the last round.

Should they get past Pyunik, a play-off round meeting with either Italian side Torino or Shakhtyor Soligors of Belarus awaits.

Pyunik v Wolves: How to listen

The Europa League qualifying clash at the Vazgen Sargsyan Republican Stadium will get under way at 5pm on Thursday, August 8.

Full commentary with James Fielden and Chris Iwelumo will be live on talkSPORT 2, with our coverage getting under way at 5pm.

To tune into all the build-up and commentary, just click here for the live stream or click the radio player below.

Coverage of FC Midtjylland v Rangers will follow the conclusion of the Wolves game with commentary in Denmark coming from John Anderson and Sam Parkin.

Pyunik v Wolves: What has been said?

Nuno Espirito Santo has dismissed fears Wolves’ mammoth Europa League trip will hurt them in the Premier League this weekend

The Wolves boss said: “It’s the reality, it’s very far but it’s more important to prepare well.

“We’re going to fly and try in the flight there and the return to make this time useful, trying to rush the recovery of the players.

“It’s a challenge and we’ll embrace it by doing our best. We are not worried, we are ready to do it. It’s what we do.

“You have to decide game-by-game, play the game, think about the rest and then we’ll think about Leicester.

“We are very proud because achieving what we did last season was huge for the club. As a group of professionals it is a challenge and we want to embrace it.”

Wolves are looking to make it into the group stages of the Europa League next season

Pyunik v Wolves: Confirmed Teams

Pyunik: Dragojevic, Stankov, Zhestokov, Marku, Manucharyan, Mkrtchyan, Simonyan, Efimov, Mahmudov, Shevchuk, Miranyan.

Subs: Manukyan, Grigoryan, Belov, Yedigaryan, Alfred, Galimov, Burzanovic.

Wolves: Patricio, Bennett, Coady, Boly, Doherty, Dendoncker, Saiss, Moutinho, Vinagre, Jimenez, Jota.

Subs: Ruddy, Vallejo, Neves, Cutrone, Jonny, Perry, Kilman.
Referee: Michael Fabri (Italy)

Wolves to face Torino in Europa League play-off if both sides win third qualifying round ties

5 Aug

Wolves will face Torino in a Europa League play-off if both clubs come through their third qualifying round games next week.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side face Armenian side FC Pyunik over two legs with the reward a tie against either the seven-time Italian champions or Belarusian side Shakhtyor.

Wolves could face Torino in the next round of the Europa League
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The winners of the two-legged tie, which will take place on August 22 and August 29, will be guaranteed a place in the group stage of the Europa League.

If Celtic lose their Champions League qualifier against Cluj, the Scottish champions will drop into the Europa League and meet either AIK of Stockholm, or Moldovan side Sheriff.

Rangers will face either Legia Warsaw of Poland or Atromitos of Greece if they win their third qualifying round tie against Midtjylland, while Aberdeen will meet AEK Larnaca or Gent, provided they first beat Rijeka.


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Dundalk were handed the prospect of facing last year’s Champions League semi-finalists Ajax – but only if the Irish side beat Slovan Bratislava and Ajax lose their Champions League qualifier to PAOK Salonika.

Linfield will play APOEL or Qarabag provided they beat Sutjeska, while The New Saints’ reward for a win over Ludogorets would be a meeting with either Maribor or Rosenborg.

Europa League qualifying: Wolves set up gruelling trip to Armenia, Aberdeen thrash Chikhura Sachkhere, Rangers gain revenge on Progres Niederkorn

1 Aug

Wolves, Rangers and Aberdeen all sailed safely through to the third round of Europa League qualifying on Thursday night.

Here, talkSPORT takes a look at how they did it and what comes next for the three British clubs…

Crusaders 1-4 Wolves (1-6 agg)

Jimenez ensured Wolves kept their European dream alive

Raul Jimenez powered Wolves past Crusaders to set them up for a 6,370-mile round trip to Armenia as they continue their Europa League dream.

The striker’s brace helped earn a 4-1 win in Belfast – although they now face a gruelling journey just 72 hours before their Premier League campaign starts.

Nuno Espirito Santo’s side were forced to come from behind on Thursday but won their second round qualifying tie 6-1 on aggregate.

Ryan Bennett’s early own goal gave the visitors a scare but Jimenez’s first-half brace – either side of Bennett’s header at the right end – put Wolves on course for victory.

Jordan Forsythe’s own goal added a fourth for the visitors, who will now travel to FC Pyunik next week in the third qualifying round.

Progres Niederkorn 0-0 Rangers (0-2 agg)

Rangers gained Europa League revenge on Progres Niederkorn but without exacting cruel retribution as they edged past their old foes with a goalless draw in Luxembourg.

Gers were back at the scene of their worst ever European result as they returned to the Stade Josy Barthel to face the part-time minnows.

But there was no repeat of the nightmare that befell Pedro Caixinha’s side two years ago as they ground out a 2-0 aggregate win.

Last week’s Ibrox strikes from Joe Aribo and Sheyi Ojo proved to be a big enough cushion for Steven Gerrard’s team as they set up a third qualifying round showdown with Danes Midtjylland.

Aberdeen 5-0 Chikhura Sachkhere (6-1 agg)

Sam Cosgrove hit a superb treble for Aberdeen

Sam Cosgrove scored a hat-trick as Aberdeen sealed their place in the third qualifying round of the Europa League with a 5-0 win over Georgian side Chikhura Sachkhere.

The Dons striker took his tally to six goals in four games, helping to secure a 6-1 aggregate victory and setting up a clash with Croatian side HNK Rijeka.