Celtic ultimately came up short against a ruthless Bayern Munich side in the UEFA Youth League on Wednesday night.
Mikey Johnston impressed the Bayern fans who turned up to watch their youngsters with his directness and ability to reach the by-line consistently. However, Munich proved to have the all-round better quality in the final third.
Goals from Johnston and Ewan Henderson wasn’t enough to halt Bayern, with a Manuel Weintzheimer brace adding to goals from Frank Evina, Felix Gotze, Marin Pudic, and an own goal from Robbie Deas.
Celtic started confidently and looked threatening down the left-hand side. Henderson and Johnston were combining effectively, and a couple of cut-backs in the box failed to be controlled by Aitchison.
The bright start followed by some Munich pressure. The Bavarians looked threatening whenever Batista Meier or Meritan Shabani got on the ball. Some early openings for both Pudic and Shabani were easily gathered by Ryan Mullen.
The young Hoops weren’t afraid to play out from the back, showing a composure in defence when playing out that is symbolic of the way Brendan Rodgers has his senior side playing.
Yet Bayern showed their ruthless streak midway through the first-half, with Celtic not covering themselves in glory at the back.
Firstly, the powerful Evina picked the ball up on the right, cut inside, and saw his effort spin off the unfortunate Calvin Miller and into the far corner.
The lead was doubled when a deep free-kick from Shabani found Gotze, and despite having chances to clear their lines, the Hoops defence allowed Gotze time to slot it past Mullen.
Meier and Wintzheimer both came close with efforts in the box, but when it looked as though Celtic would finish the half strongly through Johnston’s directness – Bayern extended their lead.
A long diagonal ball to Meier was brilliantly controlled – taking it past Duffy with his first touch. He slid it past Mullen before the back-tracking Daes could only knock it into his own net when trying to clear.