Celtic defeated but not out; Ulster aim to make home advantage count

Morning Sports Briefing: Keep ahead of the game with ‘The Irish Times’ sports team

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers applauds the home fans at Celtic Park. Photograph: Getty Images

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers applauds the home fans at Celtic Park. Photograph: Getty Images

Despite losing 2-1 to Red Bull Salzburg and failing to collect the one point they needed to secure their Europa League progression, Celtic have still qualified for the last-32. Rosenborg’s unlikely draw with RB Leipzig means Brendan Rodgers team take second spot in the group, despite a poor showing on the night and a horror mistake by goalkeeper Craig Gordon. Chelsea have condemned supporters who were heard singing an anti-Semitic chant during their 2-2 draw with Vidi FC in Hungary, just days after four fans were suspended for abusing Raheem Sterling. Both Chelsea and Arsenal - who were 1-0 winners against Qarabag last night - took top spot in their respective groups.

Ulster have given themselves a serious chance of reaching the knockout stages of the Heineken Champions Cup for the first time in five seasons, but they need to follow up on last weekend’s heroics in Llanelli with another win over the Scarlets in Belfast tonight. They’ve named an unchanged team. In Challenge Cup action tonight, Connacht travel to take on Perpignan where Paddy Jackson starts at outhalf for the French club. On the international front, New Zealand head coach Steve Hansen has confirmed he will step down at the conclusion of next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan after 16 years with the side.

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