Celtic 3 FK Suduva 0 – Celtic turn on the style to reach Europa League

CELTIC beat Lithuanian Champions FK Suduva 3-0 at Celtic Park tonight to win the Play-off for the place in the Europa League Group stages.

The tie ended 4-1 to Celtic and after a poor performance in Lithuania last week, the 7 in a Row Scottish Champions turned on the style in Paradise.

Celtic’s first attempt at the Suduva goal came after 3 minutes when Scotty Sinclair tried to curl a shot into the top corner but his effort was just too high and failed to bother their keeper.

Kieran Tierney won a free kick on the edge of the area after 8 minutes but the cross from Leigh Griffiths was cleared by the first man.

Young Mikey Johnston twisted and turned his way to the byeline a few times in the opening period but again the crosses where easily swept up by the team in all red.

With 16 minutes on the clock the impressive Olivier Ntcham blasted a fierce effort towards the postage stamp corner of the Suduva goal but again it was just too high to trouble the goalkeeper who frankly would have expected to have been busier.

Ntcham created the next chance moments later when he crossed to Sinclair who clever took the ball first time to lob in between two Lithuanian defenders in the six yard box. Both left it for each other and instead Leigh Griffiths pounced by frustratingly shot straight at the keeper with the goal gaping.

The first Celtic corner arrived on 20 minutes and surprisingly enough we almost made something of it. Griffiths drove it in from the corner housing around 100 visiting fans. He had picked out KT running in towards the D and the left back caught the volley perfectly but his goal bound shot was deflected by the red wall.

Two minutes later Griffiths pickpocketed the centre half but could find a way past their keeper.

Jonny Hayes replaced the impressive Mikey Johnston and the Irishman had the ball in the net with his first touch – but a late flag went up much to his annoyance.

Christie shot over the bar and Sinclair went close. Then Craig Gordon made a decent save from the visitors one and only serious effort of the night.

The sponsors gave their man of the Match to Leigh Griffiths but we’ll opt instead for Callum McGregor who kept the ball moving all night and is such an intelligent footballer.

We’ll find out tomorrow where we’re going in the group stages.

Oh and well done to the crowd, excellent atmosphere, right behind the team, no booing of Boyata and maybe 45-50k there. Impressive!

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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