Celtic were defeated 2-0 by Lazio in Matchday 5 of the Champions League, as their European journey came to an end in a competitive sense after just five games.

The visitors to Rome would have the first chance, as Kyogo got a shot on target, though its execution was tame. Joe Hart would then be tested by a corner, though it was comfortable in the end for the former England international. In a tight opening 45 minutes, there was not much between the sides, with the hosts shooting well wide a number of times which did not trouble Hart whatsoever. Half-time came in a flash, with neither side creating enough to dominate or make any sort of mark on proceedings.

In the second half, Celtic continued to probe for that all-important opener, with Kyogo again coming closest to making the breakthrough for Brendan Rodgers' side. Lazio continued to shoot from distance, whilst Cameron Carter-Vickers headered straight at the goalkeeper. Substitute Oh Hyeon-gyu also found his shot easily saved a few minutes later. It was to be three minutes to forget though, as Ciro Immobile's double took it past Rodgers' side on the night. 

Celtic made a few changes from the team that were held at home to Motherwell. Alistair Johnston returned to the side in place of Anthony Ralston, whilst Paulo Bernardo was preferred ahead of Odin Thiago Holm in the middle of the park. James Forrest returned to the ground he scored at back in 2019 in place of the suspended Luis Palma, with Yang Hyun-jun occupying the other wing. Kyogo as usual led the line for Celtic.

With all of that being said, what did our writers make of this evening's events in Italy's capital city? Here is what they had to say on the game...

Same old Celtic in Europe

What an absolute sickener for Celtic. Immobile's counter after 82 minutes was a hammerblow to the Scottish champions. However, the striker showed a real touch of class when he cleverly nudged Liam Scales off the ball and turned Carter-Vickers inside out to drill home a killer second three minutes after the opener just as Rodgers' men were looking to win the tie. The Scottish champions were the victims of cruel luck when the ball was deflected into the Lazio legend's path and he made no mistake for the first. Ironically Celtic worked really hard and were starting to pose a threat at that point in the game. It has been the steepest of learning curves for Rodgers' team in Group E. It is the same old story for Celtic always losing away in Europe and the long agonising wait for a victory on their travels continues as the qualification dream died in the Eternal City.

Tony Haggerty

Kyogo inches from conquering Rome

The Celtic striker ran himself to a complete standstill and he occupied the Lazio defence all evening. He lacked support for large parts of the evening but he plugged away and stuck manfully to his task. He had two efforts one in the first half which he choked into the ground. He then cracked in a superb strike that slipped agonisingly inches wide of the target after he was brilliantly fed by O'Riley. He was also denied the simplest of tap-ins when Yang somehow skewed a header away from the danger area and not into the striker's path when maybe the Korean should have opted to head for the goal. The 28-year-old did everything which included linking the play, being a target man as well as an out ball and feeding off the scraps he was given whenever Celtic managed to get bodies forward. The Japanese forward gave his all for the cause and probably deserved better on the night for his excellent efforts.

Tony Haggerty

Champions League history maker Hart

The former England number one made Champions League history as he chalked up a landmark 50th group stage game milestone appearance. He became the first English goalkeeper to reach that total. Hart seemed to have learned his lesson from the woeful concession of an equalising goal against Motherwell from a corner kick last Saturday. He was much more decisive when it came to Lazio's set plays in the Stadio Olimpico and he was even commanding as he came out to punch most deliveries, especially from corner kicks. His handling was safe throughout as he used all his experience to guide him through a massive match. He also dealt comfortably with any of the Lazio strikes from long range that failed to really trouble him. He breathed a huge sigh of relief when I pulled an effort just wide of the upright on the hour mark. He was helpless for Ciro Immobile's quick-fire double which ended Celtic's European involvement for another season.

Tony Haggerty

Positive Paulo

You could and would be forgiven for thinking that the Portugal under-21 international only features for Celtic in Europe, such is the consistency and faith Rodgers shows in Bernardo on the continental stage. There is a lot of competition in that area of the park, with Holm and David Turnbull both breathing down the midfielder’s neck whenever he gets an opportunity to impress. In European games, it is so important that outfield players get in front of the ball and win fouls, especially away from home. In years gone by, individuals such as Kris Commons made a living out of doing this thankless task, and it seems that Bernardo took a leaf out of Celtic’s former number 15’s book tonight. In the first half, the Portuguese midfielder was keen to get on the ball whenever he could and was easily Celtic’s best outfield player when he was given possession to work with. It was his pass that opened up a shot for Kyogo, with the striker squandering a good opportunity. Winning fouls by regularly getting in front of his marker, Bernardo did not allow Lazio to get into any rhythm of note when the ball was in his vicinity. There was one moment midway through the half when the midfielder did well to evade a couple of Lazio bodies and move into space, though his pass out wide was easily intercepted by the hosts’ defence. To be fair to him, his influence did wane following the restart, with much of his energy used up in the opening 45 minutes, especially off the ball. He was replaced by Oh with 20 minutes to go.

Ryan McGinlay

Visitors can cut it despite result

Celtic showed with this display tonight that they are more than capable of holding their own in Europe, even away from home. In a group where Celtic have felt the full force of their opponent’s wrath at their own home grounds, the visitors to Rome were largely comfortable for over 80 minutes of the game. However – time and again – Celtic have come up short in European competition. Unfortunately, Celtic lose goals in clusters, and the two goals conceded in three minutes were the two sucker punches Lazio needed to get ahead of their opponents on the night. No two ways about it, for 20 minutes in the second half Lazio were on the ropes thanks to Celtic’s growing confidence in the game, though they managed to weather the minor storm that their visitors threw at them. Some of Celtic’s play was really positive - particularly in the transition – but that sadly isn’t enough to guarantee a result on Europe’s top club stage. Another season goes on without a win in the Champions League for Celtic, this time under Rodgers, but the chances were there to certainly do so, especially in earlier games in the group, and particularly against tonight’s opponent in the reverse fixture. The same old story, though Celtic can be reasonably pleased with their endeavours for most of the night. It was those manic three minutes that made all the difference.

Ryan McGinlay