Hoops fire early to set up Rosenborg Repeat

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CELTIC 3 ALASHKERT 0

Celtic set up a repeat tie with Rosenborg after both teams overcame the opposition to book a place in the next qualifying round.

The Celts, leading 3-0 from the first game in Armenia last week, managed to replicate the score line at the Republican Stadium on a warm evening at Celtic Park.

Brendan Rodgers named an unchanged XI as he looked to progress quickly and efficiently. Celtic were out the traps and had no hint of complacency. Moussa Dembele fired early after working his way into the box, using strength and power, before firing the ball into the net.

However, there was a dark mark against the performance and that was in the form of Jozo Simunovic‘s red card. The Croatian centre-half was sent for an early bath after being adjudged to have fouled Jefferson Reis with a ‘high boot’.

The ten men of Celtic weren’t shaken by the reduction of one man, they reorganised and continued to press the game. The referee, Horatiu Fesnic, suffered a second controversial decision after awarding Celtic a  penalty. Maybe the first decision played in the Romanian ref’s mind but he decided that the contact on Odsonne Edouard was enough to point to the spot. Moussa made no mistake and scored – making it 2-0.

The class in Celtic’s buildup play was excellent and a real threat was carried through the front pairing of Dembele and Edouard. James Forrest scored to make it 3-0 and finish the tie off before half time.

The second half became cruise control for the Scottish Champions, who look forward to hosting Rosenborg next week.

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