Celtic secured a narrow first leg advantage in the first leg of their Champions League play-off game against Malmo, winning 3-2 ahead of the return trip to Sweden.
Celtic boss Ronny Deila will be frustrated by the way his team let an advantageous position slip, with the club’s opponents falling behind early in the game before coming back with a couple of important away goals which keeps them in the tie.
Leigh Griffiths continued his good form this season with a brace, while talented midfielder Nir Bitton picked up a goal to cap off a decent performance through the middle of the team.
Bitton has become one of the first names down on the team sheet for Deila, because he’s capable of having a big impact over the side across different competitions on a consistent basis.
He controls the tempo and pace of the play going forward, while also offering some important extra protection when Celtic are on the back foot and scrambling under pressure.
Bitton needs to stay fit because of his importance to the team and he needs to ensure that he’s on top form in the second leg.
With the benefit of away goals in the bank, it’s going to be interesting to see how Malmo approach the second leg because they know they can sit back and look to score just that vital single goal.
Bitton is someone who needs to be at the top of his game during that match to keep the midfield structured and well organised when the Bhoys are under pressure and to get things moving forward quickly, when Celtic pick up possession and have the chance to start building patches of their own pressure in the biggest game of their season so far.
Here’s what Celtic fans made of Bitton’s performance last night.
Forrest's biggest critic but great performance from him tonight. Him griffiths, broony and bitton were all outstanding— 67 (@AndyMcGregor95) August 19, 2015
Fancy big bitton to stroll it for another man of the match performance #BethlehemBusquets— Ciaran Edelsten (@ciaraned) August 19, 2015
@thesportsrabbi Great result for Maccabi. Good result for Celtic too but should've been better. Bitton scored and was v good again tonight.— Kieran Caw (@Kieran_Celtic) August 19, 2015
Nir bitton is the greatest Celtic NO.6 I've seen since landry'nguemo— Tatty (@tait_kieran) August 19, 2015
Not a great result for Celtic, fear for them if they have to play ambrose next week. Poor from van dijk and bitton for last goal— Clarky (@RossClark95) August 19, 2015
Bloody hell!! We're dropping like flies!! Bitton now! A lot more worrying. He's a must have in CM! #CELTIC— David Mc Weeney (@ABhoysVoice) August 19, 2015
Nir Bitton (celtic) looks a very good DM . Seen him a few times and always impressed .— Scouser Soze (@scouser_soze) August 19, 2015
Impressed by Celtic's movement. Getting between the lines and round the back of Malmo. And Bitton is such a classy player.— Jamie Borthwick (@jamiekborthwick) August 19, 2015