IN SEVILLE, the locals have their own expression for the phrase: 'the rain in Spain stays mainly in the plain'. It's called: 'La lluvia en Sevilla es una maravilla', which literally translated means: 'the rain in Seville is wonderful'.

It almost never rains in Seville. It's just a pity nobody told Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou.

It didn't just rain on the Aussie. The heavens positively opened and the roof caved in on him as he prepared his Celtic side to face Real Betis on Matchday One of the Europa League group stages. Ange did not exactly have his problems to seek before kick-off.

A lesser man may have been spooked at the task that lay ahead as Celtic embarked on their own version of 'Ghostbusters' against the sixth-best side in La Liga last season. Celtic was trying to exorcise a near six-decade demon in the Estadio Benito Villamarin by winning on Spanish soil for the first time in a European tie.

It is a dreadful record stretching back some 59 years to Celtic's first-ever Euro encounter against Valencia in the 1962/63 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup with no wins in 19 attempts.

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It was also a sentimental journey to the city that hosted 80,000 Celtic supporters for the 2003 UEFA cup final which Martin O'Neill's men lost 3-2 in extra-time to Jose Mourinho's Porto. For all the hopeless romantics among the Celtic supporters, the fact that this season's Europa League final will be staged at Sevilla's Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium in May was not entirely lost on them.

The city still holds a special place in the hearts and minds of the faithful. However, on this occasion, sentiment went right out the window as Glasgow's green and white were going to have to do it all the hard way in order to come away with a positive result.

An injury ruled out influential skipper Callum McGregor and Israeli winger Liel Abada was forced out of the side owing to religious reasons and that double blow wreaked havoc on Celtic's starting X1.

Japanese striker Kyogo Furuhashi remained on the sidelines nursing his knee problem, James Forrest was unavailable for selection and new Greek hitman Georgios Giakoumakis was still some way short of match fitness.

It's fair to say the squad was stretched to the bare bones. Anthony Ralston returned to the fray at right-back and Croatian internationalist Josip Juranovic switched to left-back just as he did at Ibrox on his debut. Surprisingly there was no room for Irish internationalist James McCarthy in the line-up as Ismalia Soro replaced McGregor in the engine room alongside Tom Rogic and David Turnbull. That in itself was a fearless and huge call by the manager.

Youngster Adam Montgomery was also handed the opportunity of a lifetime as he was deployed on the left-wing alongside Portuguese star Jota whilst Swiss striker Albain Ajeti led the attack fresh from his two-goal salvo against Ross County in the 3-0 Scottish Premiership victory over the Staggies last weekend.

The Celtic substitutes bench highlighted the depleted nature of the squad as Ange was forced to name two goalkeepers yet didn't have the luxury of listing another attacker. It was Celtic who sprung out of the traps and it was genuinely no shock when they took the lead on 15 minutes.

Jota's sumptuous cross was bundled home by the hip of Ajeti from six yards as he came back to haunt his former West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini who once signed him for the Hammers for £8 million and ironically never scored for him.

VAR then intervened to give the visitors a real scare that their goal was going to be ruled out but after a few minutes delay, it was called good. Ajeti then raced through on goal after Turnbull's defence splitter and he was brought down by Claudio Bravo on 26 minutes and a penalty was awarded.

Celtic Way:

Josip Juranovic expertly buried it and Celtic were temporarily in dreamland.

Jota then raced in on goal and went for a dink when a thunderbolt seemed the best option and it was a miss that was to come back to haunt Celtic. Amazingly within 35 minutes, we were back to all square.

Juan Miranda stabbed past Joe Hart to make it 1-2 on 32 minutes after some poor defending by Ralston, Jota and Soro.

Three minutes later it was 2-2 as Borja Iglesias easily waltzed off Carter-Vickers -who failed to track his run - and laid it on a plate for Juanami to roll the ball into an empty net.

There was barely time to draw breath as the half-time whistle sounded.

The second half had barely started when Celtic were caught cold by two sucker punches in the searing Andalucian heat.

By 53 minutes, Celtic found themselves trailing 4-2.

Borja Iglesias turned home from close range on 51 minutes with Carter-Vickers and Starfelt both holding an inquest as to who was meant to be marking the striker.

Juanmi then accurately placed an effort in off the post on 53 minutes and it was all over as a contest.

Rogic screamed a volley off the post which would have made things interesting on the night before Ralston buried a late header with four minutes to go to make it 4-3 but nicking a point seemed like a forlorn hope by then.

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That's 20 matches and rising and Celtic's agonising wait for a win on Spanish soil goes on.

Yet had all started so well and 30 minutes in Celtic were truly on the verge of something wonderful. Or 'una maravilla' as they say in Seville.

Ultimately Celtic failed to reign in Spain as Ange's side trudged off the park with another Matchday One Europa League group stage defeat to add to the catalogue of many others.

Yes, Celtic were entertaining going forward and for half an hour in this contest, Ange's side looked like world-beaters. However, Celtic's defensive frailties were laid bare for all to see especially when they come up against better quality opposition in the shape of the Spaniards.

Make no mistake Real Betis are quality opposition. The rollercoaster of a season continues. Scoring three times away from home in a European tie and still losing.

Ladies and gentlemen, I give you 'Angeball' in all its splendour and glory.