Athletic Club lost against Celtic FC in a beautifully contested match that the home side managed to come from behind
The game started with Athletic showing a lot of intensity. Proof of this was the early goal by Unai Gomez after a good recovery and a superb close-range shot. Earlier, in the build-up to the game, Brendan Rodgers received a warm ovation on his return to the Celtic FC bench. However, the star of the show was James Forrest, who received a well-deserved tribute, supported by the presence of Athletic Club, as he celebrated his 15th season in the Bhoys in Green jersey.
Aitor Paredes had the second from a corner. Supported by the ever-loyal fans, Celtic had their chances through Kyogo, who came close to equalising. A great intervention by Unai Simón. With another steal in the Celtic defensive area, Athletic could have extended the lead; Villalibre, Ruiz de Galarreta, Williams, near the twenty minute mark; shortly after, Vivian broke through the Scottish defence, but his shot went high. The zurigorri arrivals followed one after the other.
The rain did not want to miss the match either, adding to the mystique of both the stage and the game. Celtic took advantage of a recovery and rebound on the edge of the Basque box to equalise with a great cross-shot by the Japanese Reo Hatate. With no time to absorb the blow, the lions struck back with a spectacular goal from Iker Muniain, prompting a thunderous "Goazen Athletic" from the Glasgow fans at Celtic Park.
At the restart, Rodgers changed all his players, except for Forrest. The honoured player remained on the pitch for three more minutes to the applause of the devoted fans. Valverde, meanwhile, introduced Prados and Raul Garcia for Unai Gomez and Villalibre.
In the pouring rain, the home side raised their lines of pressure and Abada tested Unai Simón again from half distance. The Murgia goalkeeper responded, again, with a good save. The Scots continued to try and, from a corner, they took advantage of a good combination inside the area for the Argentinian Bernabei to equalise. The home side did not let up and struck again after a run down the right ended with a finish from Scotland's David Turnbull to put Celtic ahead.
Athletic Club tried to break the deadlock with a shot from Lekue, but Rodgers' players also hit back with their forward pressure to go close to a fourth. With a quarter of an hour to go, Egiluz, Rincon, Adu Ares, Guruzeta and Marton came on for the final stretch. Despite Ander Herrera's final attempt, the scoreboard was never moved again.