Erik ten Hag told his Manchester United players to make sure they get straight back into the Champions League next season after a dismal European campaign ended in an early exit at the hands of Bayern Munich on Tuesday night.

Kingsley Coman’s 70th-minute goal, laid on by Harry Kane, gave the Germans a 1-0 win and ensured United finished bottom of Group A – beaten to second place by FC Copenhagen, operating on a fraction of their budget, and to third and the consolation of Europa League football by Galatasaray.

The final whistle was greeted with boos at Old Trafford, where United lost for the seventh time this season – having now lost more games in all competitions, 12, than they have won, 11.

Ten Hag’s side are out of Europe, out of the League Cup, and sixth in the Premier League going into Sunday’s visit to leaders Liverpool. Defeat also came at a cost, with both Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw picking up injuries before half-time.

“There are still many things to play for now, we can focus on the Premier League,” Ten Hag said.

“This is the level we want to play, the Champions League, so we have to give every effort to get into the top four so next year we are back in the Champions League – and of course there is the FA Cup so there are still many things to play for.”

In a match they needed to win, United mustered only one shot on target, a Shaw effort that never really troubled Manuel Neuer. A much better chance fell to Bruno Fernandes early in the second half but the captain blazed over.

Bayern, already assured of top spot in the group, barely needed to get out of second gear but Ten Hag insisted his side performed well.

“I think the game was like this, both sides had less chances but I think there was a good intensity from our side,” the Dutchman said.

“We brought Bayern out of their rhythm, the defending organisation we did quite well if not very well, especially the first part of second half. Also we had a very good chance from Bruno, so we had our moments but didn’t take them.”

Bayern boss Thomas Tuchel, who bounced back from Saturday’s 5-1 humbling away to Eintracht Frankfurt, admitted he had expected United to progress from Group A and had sympathy for Ten Hag’s position – pointing to United’s long list of absentees.

“I think you could see it’s not an easy time for them. I’m pretty sure he knows what to do next, how to influence his team and he doesn’t need any advice from me,” Tuchel said. “He is experienced enough to go through it.”

Kane set up Coman’s goal with a perfectly placed pass with the outside of his boot and the man United coveted for so long was a constant menace as he linked up Bayern’s attacking play and sent a late header narrowly wide.

“Harry is a difference maker, 100 per cent,” Tuchel said of the England captain. “His personality, his calmness.

“The team knows anything can happen any minute with Harry up front. He can always assist, he can always score.”

Manchester United manager Erik ten Hag accepts he has to make the team better but he also called on the players to shoulder more responsibility.

A 1-0 defeat to Bayern Munich saw United’s European football ended by a bottom-place finish in their group with their lowest points return and highest number of defeats – both four.

“We know we want to be more consistent; me as a manager I have to improve the team and guide them and the players have to take the responsibility,” he told TNT Sports.

Asked whether he looked back on the European campaign with regret he added: “Not with regret. We want to be in it and the target was always to be in it over winter.

“We didn’t make it and we have to accept it and learn from it.

“But we played good football in the Champions League: Rasmus Hojlund scored five times and he has to take that belief into the Premier League.

“That counts for the whole team, to take some good performances in the Premier League as we want to be back in the Champions League again and so we have to qualify from the League.”

Dani Ceballos’ 89th-minute goal ensured Real Madrid finished their Champions League group stage with a perfect record after they beat Union Berlin 3-2.

Ceballos’ deflected strike settled a topsy-turvy battle in the German capital, with Union heading out of Europe for the season.

They had taken the lead in the first half through Kevin Volland’s opener, but Joselu scored twice in 11 second-half minutes to put Real in front.

Alex Kral levelled for the hosts in the 85th minute as Union looked set for a point before former Arsenal loanee Ceballos won it for the 14-time champions.

It might have been a more serene night for Carlos Ancelotti’s side had they taken some early chances, with Jude Bellingham going close from distance and Joselu missing a good chance that he should have put away.

A golden chance came their way just before half-time when Diogo Leite made a rash challenge in the box and the referee pointed to the spot.

Luka Modric stepped up and he went down the middle, but Union goalkeeper Frederik Ronnow was waiting and saved.

It kicked off a dramatic two minutes as the hosts went down the other end and when David Alaba missed his kick, Volland stormed through and converted.

Real were in control in the second half and Ronnow made another fine save as he kept out Rodrygo’s header from close range.

But there was nothing the Danish goalkeeper could do to prevent the leveller in the 61st minute as Joselu nodded in Rodrygo’s cross.

It was a clinical finish by Joselu which gave the visitors the lead 11 minutes later as he superbly turned in Fran Garcia’s cross at the near post.

Kral looked to have earned Berlin an unlikely point when he slammed home from the edge of the area as the hosts suddenly had hopes of finding another goal that would have sent them through to the Europa League.

However, Ceballos broke their hearts in the 89th minute when his deflected effort nestled in the bottom corner as Real Madrid ended with a perfect record.

Former Manchester United defender Rio Ferdinand criticised some “kamikaze football” after their embarrassing exit from European competition.

A 1-0 defeat at home to Bayern Munich, their 15th goal conceded in six matches, ensured Erik ten Hag’s side finished bottom of Group A even without Copenhagen’s win over Galatasaray.

“To score three goals in each of their away games and not come away with much points it’s criminal. It is kamikaze football almost,” Ferdinand told TNT Sports.

“You get what you deserve. If you are not clinical and you can’t close matches out you don’t deserve to progress to the knockout phase.

“I think it’s the best worst-case scenario. I would rather Man United go out and concentrate on the league than go into the Europa League and exert themselves more.”

Ex-United midfielder Paul Scholes was disappointed with the team’s lack of a goal threat in a match they needed to win after scoring 12 times in their previous five matches.

“In some games they looked very good, they were getting leads in games, but they couldn’t manage to see the games out,” said Scholes.

“Tonight you never really felt Mancester United were going to score goals. It’s all about getting the balance right and it’s been a struggle from the off.”

Inter Milan were forced to settle for second place in Champions League Group D after a 0-0 draw with leaders Real Sociedad at San Siro.

Last year’s runners-up needed a win to clinch a place among the top seeds heading into the knockout stage but could not break down their impressive Spanish opponents.

A second draw between the sides in the group stage left them locked together with 12 points, but La Real – who conceded just twice in their six matches – topped the pool on goal difference.

The draw did mean both teams kept up their impressive recent runs, with Inter having now gone 14 games without defeat.

Real Sociedad are now unbeaten in eight and have still only lost to Real Madrid, Barcelona and Atletico Madrid in all competitions this season.

And it was the visitors who dominated possession early on but, other than a couple of promising runs from Take Kubo, they failed to seriously test the visiting defence.

Inter were happy to hit on the break and they came closest to scoring in a first half of few chances.

The lively Marcus Thuram caused problems, and his surging run created an opening for Henrikh Mkhitaryan, but his goalbound effort was brilliantly cleared by Sociedad defender Hamari Traore.

Federico Dimarco then forced a save out of visiting goalkeeper Alex Remiro just before the interval.

Davide Frattesi fired over 10 minutes into the second half after La Real did not deal with a long throw, before Juan Cuadrado drove narrowly wide.

Simone Inzaghi brought on top-scorer Lautaro Martinez, midfielder Nicolo Barella and Marko Arnautovic with 25 minutes to go as Inter chased a winner which would have clinched top spot.

But they were forced into some defending five minutes later, with former Manchester United defender Matteo Darmian blocking an effort from Arsen Zakharyan before Inter goalkeeper Yann Sommer smothered Mikel Oyarzabal’s shot.

Real Sociedad thought they had a penalty with 15 minutes left when Kubo went down in the area but a VAR review led to referee Sandro Scharer overturning his decision.

Sommer had to save from Oyarzabal again to keep Inter’s hopes alive.

Inter poured forward as they looked for a late winner and they created a stoppage-time chance for Martinez. But the Argentina World Cup winner opted to go for goal himself from a tight angle instead of looking for a team-mate and and he could only lash his shot high over the crossbar.

Manchester United’s European campaign is over after Kingsley Coman fired already-qualified Bayern Munich to a victory that meant Erik ten Hag’s men finished bottom of their Champions League group.

A wild, error-strewn continental group stage left the Red Devils’ last-16 hopes hanging by a thread, with progress only possible if they beat the German champions at Old Trafford and Copenhagen and Galatasaray drew.

But the Danes’ victory and Coman’s finish from a smart Harry Kane pass in a 1-0 Bayern win saw toothless United’s hopes of a Champions League miracle go up in smoke as the curtain came down on Group A.

The loss also meant Ten Hag’s side missed out on the consolation prize of Europa League qualification, with this just the fourth time a Premier League side has finished bottom of their Champions League group.

United had restricted Thomas Tuchel’s men to half-chances during the opening period at Old Trafford, where the hosts’ injury list increased as Harry Maguire and Luke Shaw picked up issues just before the break.

The reshuffled backline looked far more solid than during Saturday’s 3-0 humiliation at home to Bournemouth but still could not stop Bayern from running out victorious.

Coman was a livewire throughout his time on the pitch and Kane, a long-term United target, brilliantly played him in to beat Andre Onana as the hosts bowed out of Europe before Christmas.

United mustered just one shot on target in a must-win match that is followed by Sunday’s Premier League trip to rivals Liverpool. There were boos at the final whistle once again.

Mikel Arteta believes his Arsenal side have shown enough in the group stage to prove they can compete back in the Champions League.

The Gunners drew 1-1 at PSV Eindhoven on Tuesday night in the final game of Group B – with both sides already assured of their place in the last 16 before kick-off in the Netherlands.

Arteta made eight changes for the game and Eddie Nketiah’s first Champions League goal put them ahead only for Yorbe Vertessen’s smart finish to seal a share of the spoils.

Arsenal had already secured safe passage as group winners on their return to the elite level of European football following a seven-year absence – and Arteta feels his team have proven they belong at the top table.

“Overall, I think, very positive,” he said in his press conference when asked how Arsenal’s return to the Champions League had gone.

“Having not been in the competition for six or seven years and having a team that hasn’t got that much experience, I think we’ve competed really well.

“I really liked the approach of the team in every single game, the way we’ve tried to play. We had some big results and big experiences, like the one we had in Seville or Lens, or even today looking at how the team can act and how fair it is to give certain players that exposure when you make so many changes.

“Overall finishing first with a game to play we have to be really happy. Now we have to now close that chapter until February and make sure that when that chapter opens up again that we’re in the best place to compete against another top side.”

Arteta had taken three young players to the Netherlands but none of them made it onto the pitch, instead Declan Rice was a second-half substitute into the defensive line.

Normally operating in midfield, Arteta admitted he wanted to see how Rice fared at centre-back, adding: “He has played there before.

“We have to try as if we have an emergency, we have to understand and to be sure that we can fill that gap in the right way. He has a lot of composure on the ball, he wins a lot of duels for a player of his size and he has done it in the past. He is a good option.”

Erling Haaland will miss Manchester City’s final Champions League group game at Red Star Belgrade but is set to return to training on Thursday, manager Pep Guardiola has said.

The prolific Norwegian missed the Premier League win at Luton on Sunday with a foot problem and has not travelled to Serbia for Wednesday’s European dead rubber.

It remains unclear if the 23-year-old will be fit for the visit of Crystal Palace on Saturday but Guardiola has suggested the player could soon be back in action.

The City boss told reporters at a press conference: “He will be back on Thursday, I think. We will see how he feels.

“I don’t know right now (when he will be back) but the next press conference I could be more precise.”

City are also without Jeremy Doku in Belgrade because of a muscular problem while Kevin De Bruyne, who has been out since August, is not yet ready to rejoin the squad.

Goalkeeper Ederson is also sitting out that game, handing an opportunity to deputy Stefan Ortega.

There is nothing riding on the game at the Rajko Mitic Stadium with holders City having already won Group G and Red Star, who lost 3-1 at the Etihad Stadium in September, condemned to last place.

Consequently, Guardiola intends to make some changes as he looks ahead to the Club World Cup in Saudi Arabia next week, although he insists he will continue to demand the highest standards.

“We approach the game like we did the first game in Manchester, the same way,” he said. “The players have to perform. We’ve prepared really well. I hope we can do a good game.

“But of course we are going to rotate some players because after we have three days, travel, semi-final, potential final.

“Tomorrow I’ll be very pleased to see many players who didn’t play lately involved.”

One of those players to feature will be Ortega, who joined Guardiola for pre-match media duties.

The German said: “I’m happy for every game I get here and tomorrow could be the next chance for me to show my best version.”

AC Milan boss Stefano Pioli has insisted he had no idea Sandro Tonali had a gambling problem before he was sold to Champions League opponents Newcastle.

The 23-year-old Italy international joined the Magpies in a £55million summer switch from Milan and played in a 0-0 draw against his former club in their Champions League Group F opener at San Siro in September.

However, he is now serving a 10-month ban for breaches of betting regulations during his time in Italy, robbing the Tyneside club of a key man for the remainder of this season.

Asked if he knew about Tonali’s problem when he was sold, Pioli said at his press conference at St James’ Park on Tuesday evening: “No, I didn’t know anything about Sandro’s problem.

“He was very polite, respected and respectful to others, he was a very sensible boy.

“Even if I feel I have an open relationship with the players, I only talk to them about football. What they do outside, I don’t know everything about them.”

Asked further if he backed the player to get through his current difficulties, Pioli added: “Absolutely, yes. His football quality and tactical quality, technical, physical quality, there’s no doubt about him. He’s a great player.

“We’re close to Sandro. When he was with us, he was a really cheerful, positive young man, close to the team, popular, very important to the team’s rise, applied himself, worked hard, very willing to help the team.

“Unfortunately, he fell into a delicate situation. We’re with him, we’re close to him and we hope this experience will teach him and help him be better in the future.”

Tonali’s suspension came just 12 games into his Newcastle career, but Pioli is confident the Premier League club will reap the rewards of their investment.

He said: “At the moment they signed him, it was a good deal, they signed a very good player. Then what happened afterwards, no-one could have expected it.”

If Tonali’s departure left a significant gap in Milan, another was plugged this week when it was announced that former striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic had returned to the club as a “senior adviser”.

Asked for his reaction, Pioli said: “Zlatan is taking the next step of his career. He’s always been a top character, a top player. He’s faced every challenge with determination, with intelligence and this is a new challenge for him and he’ll show the same personality, the same characteristics to do everything to help the club.”

Both sides head into Wednesday night’s game able to finish second, third or fourth in the group, but neither have their fate in their own hands with victory a must if they are to stand any chance of making the last 16.

Pioli said: “We’ve got one objective, we’ve only got one chance – win the match.

“I know the team will do everything they can to win the game. I know what’s awaiting us, I know what kind of team they are, I know what kind of stadium it is, but our team will do everything we can to come through this big, big challenge.”

Xavi believes he is on the way to creating a “great Barcelona” side but he wants improvement as they close their Champions League group stage at Royal Antwerp.

Barca are already guaranteed a place in the last 16 and are virtually assured top spot in Group H, barring some unlikely results.

The Spanish club have not been at the top table of European football for a while, having last won the Champions League in 2015, but Xavi, who was a key player in the side that dominated the game a decade ago, can see progress.

“We want to end the group stage having done what we need to do,” he said on Barcelona’s website.

“We have to be much more effective. We create a lot of chances to win games earlier. We have to be better in front of goal, but also improve our defensive robustness.

“We have to show consistency to achieve targets and trophies. We are on the way to creating a great Barca side.

“The team is together and a close-knit group.”

The Belgian side have lost all five of their group games so far, but Xavi still respects the team managed by his former team-mate Mark van Bommel.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by FC Barcelona (@fcbarcelona)

 

 

“They are a good team and Van Bommel is doing a very good job, and he wants to leave a mark playing football based on teamwork,” Xavi added.

“We will decide which players will feature after training and prior to the game, but it is a good chance to give opportunities to young players and others who haven’t played that much.

“Logically we will make changes.”

Inaki Pena is almost certain to continue in goal after Marc-Andre ter Stegen had back surgery last week.

“The injury to Ter Stegen is not good news,” the goalkeeper said. “It makes me proud to be playing in this shirt.

“I have trained every day thinking that this day would come because you never know what can happen. At a club like Barca you can’t relax for a single day.

“I have been training for a long time with Ter Stegen and it is a pleasure to be able to learn from one of the best players in the world.

“Picking things up from him has made me a better goalkeeper.”

Arsenal’s much-changed side were lucky to leave the Netherlands with a 1-1 draw in their dead-rubber Champions League tie against PSV Eindhoven.

A goal apiece either side of half-time saw the top two in Group B share the spoils as Eddie Nketiah’s first Champions League goal was cancelled out by Yorbe Vertessen’s smart finish in a draw.

Manager Mikel Arteta said on the eve of the game that, whoever represented Arsenal had a “duty” to win – but his unfamiliar XI were second-best for much of the night.

Arsenal had already secured top spot in Group B, with PSV assured of qualifying alongside them, and the Gunners showed eight changes to the five alterations made by the hosts.

Despite ringing in the changes, Arteta named first-choice centre-back pairing William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes and the duo were on hand to prevent PSV taking an early lead.

A fine ball from Malik Tillman played in Johan Bakayoko, who squared for Ricardo Pepi – only for a combination of Saliba and recalled goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale to stop a shot, with Gabriel brilliantly blocking the follow-up effort from Patrick van Aanholt.

The Arsenal defence was struggling to prevent the hosts breaking at their goal, even with Saliba and Gabriel present, and Vertessen rattled a post with a header after 19 minutes.

Bakayoko was the next to have Ramsdale diving at full-stretch but his shot from distance flashed just wide of a post.

Arsenal would hit the woodwork themselves just before the half-hour as Mohamed Elneny let fly with a trademark long-range effort that hit the base of a post before a well-worked PSV counter ended with Saliba blocking Pepi’s shot.

Arteta’s side had begun life back in the Champions League after a seven-year absence by easing to victory over PSV at the Emirates in September and, despite this rotated line-up, they would strike first once more.

Nketiah broke the deadlock three minutes before the break with his first proper sight of goal, angling a low drive through the legs of PSV skipper Andre Ramalho and in off the inside of a post.

Ramsdale turned a Bakayoko shot around a post to send Arsenal in ahead at the interval, even though the hosts had dominated for much of the first half.

Vertessen dragged a shot just wide soon after the restart but moments later he deservedly levelled, Saliba this time leaving himself out of position by diving in for an interception and the Belgian curling past Ramsdale.

Arteta made three alterations just after the hour, one enforced as Elneny came off with what appeared to be a thigh problem, with captain Martin Odegaard on in his place, joining both Declan Rice and Ben White off the bench.

Rice went in at centre-back in place of Saliba but was almost caught out minutes later, Ismael Saibari getting the better of the club-record signing before striking a post with Ramsdale beaten.

Jakub Kiwior headed in an Odegaard free-kick with 10 minutes to go but the goal was ruled out for offside against fellow defender Gabriel, who had also attacked the ball.

Not for the first time, Gabriel completely failed to deal with a simple forward ball, leaving Guus Til to burst through and fire wide late on as the tie finished all-square.

Paris St Germain captain Marquinhos insists they cannot afford to waste the opportunity of securing a place in the Champions League knockout stages.

The Ligue 1 side face Group F leaders Borussia Dortmund in Germany knowing victory will see them progress as winners, while a draw – providing Newcastle do not beat AC Milan – would be enough to see them through as runners-up.

There is even the fail-safe of a draw on Tyneside putting them through regardless of their own result but Marquinhos wants the team the seize the initiative themselves.

“If I thought this team didn’t have the character to win, I would have stayed at home,” he said.

“This is the type of match that everyone wants to play. Destiny is in our hands.

“It’s the only trophy missing for me here. It’s the dream of many players. We must not let (the chance to win) a trophy go to waste.”

PSG will be without the suspended Ousmane Dembele while a late decision will be made on Goncalo Ramos, who has flu and did not train at Signal Iduna Park.

But head coach Luis Enrique is confident even if the Portugal international does not make it he has enough quality in his squad to inflict Dortmund’s first home Champions League defeat in over two years.

“With the squad I have, it’s always easier to replace an absent player,” he said.

“It will never be an excuse. I will never complain about the absence of a player.”

PSG have yet to win the Champions League, which remains the holy grail for their Qatari owners, but aside from finishing runners-up and semi-finalists in 2019-20 and 2020-21 they have not made it past the last 16 since 2016.

Luis Enrique is the fifth head coach since then to be tasked with winning Europe’s elite club competition but having won it with Barcelona he knows all about high expectations.

“The pressure at PSG is on a daily basis but the preparation for the match remains the same; we will work on the type of football we want to play, the things we want to see happen in the match,” he added.

“I am in a very calm state of mind and with the dream and the hope that we are going to have a great match.

“We saw the qualities of the opponent (in PSG’s 2-0 win at home) but we also saw that they have difficulty defending.

“We have scored in all our matches in the competition and tomorrow the aim is to try to win.”

Eddie Howe is dreaming of a “magical European night” as Newcastle attempt to book their place in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Head coach Howe will go into Wednesday night’s must-win clash with AC Milan at St James’ Park with back-up keeper Martin Dubravka having emerged as yet another selection doubt, but knowing that a win over the Serie A giants could be enough for the Magpies to extend their stay at Europe’s top table.

While injury-plagued Newcastle’s fate it not in their own hands – even victory would mean they would slip into the Europa League should Paris St Germain win at Borussia Dortmund, while defeat would see them finish bottom of Group F – the man who guided them into the competition for the first time in 20 years is allowing himself to hope.

 

View this post on Instagram

A post shared by Newcastle United FC (@nufc)

Asked how much he had enjoyed the competition, Howe said: “I’ve really enjoyed the Champions League. My only frustration is that we have not had the freedom to attack the competition as we would have liked to have done (because of injuries).

“That’s my only feeling that I’m left with that is negative.

“The tournament itself is special, the places we have been are incredible, the stadiums, the atmospheres and the experiences we have had at home have all been memorable.

“We have one more game to go and we have to make this as memorable as possible.

“My message to the fans is to make this a magical European night. They can only do so much, we have to do our bit to make it that.”

Since the competition got under way in September, Howe’s plans have been radically altered by circumstances beyond his control with Sandro Tonali’s 10-month suspension and a series of injuries which is only just starting to abate having severely reduced his options.

Slovakia international Dubravka has started the last two league games in place of Nick Pope, who dislocated his shoulder during the 1-0 win over Manchester United on December 2, but his absence from training on Tuesday morning could prove significant with Loris Karius, who played in the Champions League final for Liverpool in May 2018, standing by.

Asked if the 34-year-old would be fit, a coy Howe said: “That is slightly unclear.”

On a brighter note, striker Callum Wilson and midfielder Sean Longstaff both returned from injury as substitutes at Tottenham on Sunday and Wilson, who damaged a hamstring during the 2-0 defeat at Borussia Dortmund on November 7, in particular is desperate to make up for lost time.

The 31-year-old England frontman is yet to score in the competition, but is convinced there is a reason for that.

Wilson said: “I personally believe it hasn’t come yet because it’s waiting for a special moment to happen, and what a story it would be if it’s the winning goal tomorrow night.

“We will leave blood, sweat and tears out there. It’s what we do every time we step over the white line and for us as a football club, it’s about having no regrets.

“We have an opportunity in front of us and all we can do is focus on Milan.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has hinted he will hand some players Champions League auditions as they close an unsuccessful campaign against Feyenoord.

Celtic have one point from five games and a 2-0 defeat against Lazio last time out consigned them to bottom spot and the Dutch champions to third place in Group E.

Rodgers has handed rare starts to Tomoki Iwata, Mikey Johnston and Oh Hyeon-gyu in the past two domestic games and he will partly use Wednesday’s match to continue assessing his January transfer window needs.

Rodgers, who will again be without Cameron Carter-Vickers and Daizen Maeda, said: “Because of the situation we have with injuries and with all the games, it will give the opportunity for players to play.

“When we reach January, a lot of the players in the squad will have the opportunity to play games and play games through all the levels, and then can be assessed from there.

“But whatever team we put out, we are putting a team out always to win at Celtic. There’s no gifts, there’s no free games.

“Every game is to win and, even though disappointingly we won’t have anything in Europe after Christmas, we are still playing for pride here and the support. So we will have a team looking to fight for the result.

“It’s our last game here in the competition and we want to give the supporters something to go home happy with.

“Our attitude is exactly the same, to go and look to win the game. And we do that by playing our way. I think we showed at the weekend, once we divert from that, we don’t have the same qualities and it’s not our strength. Our strength is to play the way we want to play.”

Rodgers felt his side deviated from their positive passing game as they lost a half-time lead at Kilmarnock to suffer their first cinch Premiership defeat of the season.

“The value of the game at the weekend is we know what the issues were,” he said.

“In the St Johnstone game, the intensity wasn’t right and we fixed that. Sunday for us, when we analysed the game, we didn’t play with the poise that we need to play with in the second half.

“But at least we see that and we can take that learning into the game on Wednesday.”

Celtic have now gone 15 Champions League group games without victory, a run stretching back to Rodgers’ first spell in charge.

But the manager dismissed the long-term significance of getting a morale-boosting win ahead of next season’s European campaign.

“It’s still such a long way to go,” he said. “And probably, come this time next year, the squad may look a lot different again.

“We can only focus on the present and for us it’s performing to the level we know we can consistently.

“We have done that in spells over the course of this competition and played some really high-level football and showed in those moments that we belong at the level. But you have to do that consistently.”

Carter-Vickers and Maeda trained on Tuesday and Rodgers hopes they can return from recent lay-offs when his side host Hearts in the league on Saturday.

Reo Hatate was training on his own after returning from Japan following the first part of his rehabilitation from a hamstring injury.

The midfielder does not look likely to return before the winter break.

Erling Haaland was not involved as Manchester City trained in front of media cameras prior to their Champions League trip to Red Star Belgrade.

The prolific Norway striker had already seemed likely to miss Wednesday’s final Group G game in Serbia after sitting out the Premier League win at Luton on Sunday with a foot injury.

Manager Pep Guardiola was unsure how long Haaland would be out when asked over the weekend, but expressed hope he would be fit for their opening Club World Cup match in Saudi Arabia next week.

That would also mean the 23-year-old, who has scored 19 goals in all competitions this season, missing Saturday’s clash with Crystal Palace at the Etihad Stadium.

Winger Jeremy Doku was also absent from the part of the training session that media were allowed to film at the City Football Academy on Tuesday morning.

The Belgian has missed the last two games with a muscular problem.

Goalkeeper Ederson was also not involved, suggesting the Brazilian could be rested in Belgrade with number two Stefan Ortega given an opportunity.

There is nothing riding on the game for City, who have already qualified for the knockout stages as group winners.

Guardiola was likely to give an update on the squad at a press conference in Serbia on Tuesday evening.

© 2023 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.