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Celtic’s European dreams hang in the balance as former stars assess their chances

Former Celtic winger Aiden McGeady has voiced concerns about the club’s prospects in Group D of the Champions League.

He suggested they are realistically fighting for third place following an ‘absolute hammer blow’ suffered by Celtic as Lazio snatched a late winner at Parkhead.

Kyogo Furuhashi had opened the scoring early on before the Roman club equalised minutes later through Matias Vecino. The Serie A side secured the win through Pedro, who netted in the dying moments.

Celtic currently languish at the bottom of their group, with zero points from their first two matches. Group leaders Atletico Madrid have four points. 

Brendan Rodgers’ team faces a daunting challenge with a home and away double-header to come against the Spanish giants.

McGeady acknowledged that there are positives to take away from their performances but conceded that their start has been far from ideal. 

McGeady told BBC Sportsound McGeady said: “The first two games could have been a springboard for their European campaign, but now it’s a very difficult double-header coming up against Atletico. 

“No one is running away with the group. It’s still very tight, but it’s now about looking towards the Europa League and trying not to finish bottom.”

Former Celtic goalkeeper Pat Bonner believes that Celtic did not deserve to lose to Lazio, particularly after an impressive performance. 

“I thought in the last 20 minutes only one team were going to win it, and that was Celtic,” Bonner said. 

“They were pressing, they were in the ascendancy, but then in the last five minutes, it looked like they were happy to take a 1-1.

“The crowd were getting edgy, and you just felt there might be a sting in the tail. Unfortunately, it came in the last minute, and there was no time to recover.”

Both McGeady and Bonner agree that securing at least third place in the group is vital for Celtic’s European aspirations. 

The road ahead will undoubtedly be challenging, but Celtic remain determined to fight for at least a place in the Europa League.

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