'A disgrace no one expected': What the Czech press had to say about Celtic's shocking 4-1 defeat to Sparta Prague

How the press in the Czech Republic reacted to Celtic’s embarrassing 4-1 home defeat to Sparta Prague in the Europa League on Thursday evening.

Lukas Julis with the matchball as he's congratulated by his team-mates following his hat-trick against Celtic. Picture: SNS
Lukas Julis with the matchball as he's congratulated by his team-mates following his hat-trick against Celtic. Picture: SNS

Newspaper Lidovky underlined the problems facing the Czech visitors before the game, explaining: “In addition to the game stoppage after the interruption of the Czech league due to coronavirus, Sparta still had to deal with a number of absences. Coach Kotal could not count on goalkeeper number one Heč, Štetina, Hložek, Kozák, Hanousek, Minčev, Souček and Holec. At the last moment, the hitchhiker Čelůstka also fell out and only midfielder Dočkal started on the bench.”

Fellow publication Denik described the team as being: “A bunch of young men joined, who usually sit among the substitutes.”

Celtic: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

Celtic: Get the latest team news, match previews and reports

In the same Denik article it laid out the beginning of the match before Sparta took charge: “Certainly, because of these changes, Sparta was timid, practically not getting into the game. It seemed for twenty minutes that it would continue its European ruin. After all, they lost the first two matches with a total score of 1-7 - and especially on the AC Milan field they played in vain. But in Scotland, a sudden change took place. The key credit for it went to the shooter Lukáš Juliš, but also to his colleague from the attack David Moberg Karlsson and the young man Karabec.

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iDNES quotes hero Juliš as saying: "I once gave a hat-trick in the second league for the Sparta's B-shirt, but this one is a little better.” The news outlet then added: “Interesting fact: the last time an opponent's player scored three goals in Celtic Park was thirty-seven years ago! That's why Juliš was immediately talked about and the fans on social networks that used him to punish him are now calling him Julius Caesar.”

Columnist Jan Vacek gushed in Blesk about the other star player on the night, former Kilmarnock loanee Moberg Karlsson, writing: “The Swede was long sought after in an unconventional position in the attack, in the first fifteen minutes he was ready for replacement. But then he started an amazing show. With his speed and straightforwardness, he tore the home defense to pieces.”

Vacek also heaped praise on hat-trick hero Julis: “The local Celtic decimated with a hat-trick, he was the main director of the winning Letna story. He acted like a world-class striker. He was where he was supposed to be. It ended exactly as it should. He was cold and sharp as a razor.”

While the writer also reserved some praise for manager Vaclav Kotal, saying he came up with the “perfect” strategy for this “chess match”.

Kotal explained his side’s victory: "We studied our opponents and carefully explained to the players how to attack so that we would not let him into the game. Celtic has a very strong and mobile team. I'm glad that after the first fifteen minutes, when we were a little nervous, we got under pressure unnecessarily and kicked the balls, our game improved. We were able to keep the ball and prevailed in the offensive phase, which was important.”

Sport.cz described Celtic as suffering “the perfect shock”. In another article it was dubbed “a disgrace no one expected”.

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