Celtic ease past Cliftonville

Celtic cruised through to the third round of UEFA Champions League qualifying with a comfortable 5-0 aggregate victory over Northern Irish part-timers Cliftonville at Parkhead.

Last Updated: 24/07/13 at 09:38 Post Comment

Efe Ambrose: Celtic defender celebrates in style after scoring against Cliftonvi

Efe Ambrose: Celtic defender celebrates in style after scoring against Cliftonvi

More of the games that matter

2 years free Sky Broadband Unlimited for Sky Sports customers

Goals from defender Efe Ambrose and forward Georgios Samaras made it 2-0 on the night and 5-0 on aggregate and confirmed the Hoops will play Elfsborg in the next phase after the Swedish side won 4-0 against Daugava in Latvia earlier in the day to progress 11-1 over the two legs.

Ambrose, who had cut short his delayed summer break for last week's first leg in Belfast when manager Neil Lennon found himself short of defenders, put Celtic ahead in the 16th minute when he headed in an Anthony Stokes cross after clever footwork from Mikael Lustig on the right.

As the procession towards the Reds goal continued in the first half James Forrest skimmed Conor Devlin's bar with a right-footed drive in the 38th minute.

However, there was no addition to the score until the 70th minute when Samaras, who had scored last week in Belfast, made it 2-0 when he headed in a Kris Commons cross from close range.

Gary Hooper - who has been linked with a move away from Parkhead - replaced Beram Kayal and hit the outside of the post with an overhead kick but the visitors held out to leave Glasgow with a respectable scoreline.

Elfsborg, well into their league season, will provide a tougher test for Celtic than Cliftonville whether or not Mo Bangura, on loan from the Hoops, plays against his parent club and that is the issue which will surround the tie until kick-off time at Parkhead next week.

Despite the difficulty if not impossibility of their task, Cliftonville brought over 1,000 enthusiastic and vociferous fans for the game.

Reds manager Tommy Breslin admitted the match was in reality a damage-limitation exercise for his part-time side but there appeared little they could do to prevent the home side turning the match into a game of attack versus defence in the early stages.

But it was not all one-way traffic and Hoops defender Kelvin Wilson - a target of Nottingham Forest - stuck his head in the way of a powerful, goal-bound Marc Smyth drive to prevent the Irish supporters having something concrete to cheer.

In the 33rd minute Commons hit another powerful drive from the edge of the box, before Forrest beat Devlin only to see his shot skip off the top of the bar.

Stokes missed with three attempts in quick succession after the break and then, after a fine move by the increasingly-confident visitors, Wilson took the ball off the toes off Boyce almost on the goalline to prevent an unlikely equaliser.

Samaras' goal, which put a better sheen on the scoreline, came before Amido Balde replaced Forrest to make his competitive debut and with 10 minutes remaining he headed an Emilio Izaguirre cross past the post.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Wednesday, 27 August 2014
19:45
Arsenal 1-0 Besiktas Report
Ath Bilbao 3-1 Napoli  
Leverkusen 4-0 FC Cop'hagen  
Ludogorets 1-0 S Bucuresti  
Malmo FF 3-0 Salzburg  
Tuesday, 26 August 2014
Apoel Nicosia 4-0 Aalborg  
BATE Borisov 3-0 Slovan  
Celtic 0-1 Maribor  
FC Porto 2-0 Lille  
17:00
Zenit 3-0 S Liege  

Footer 365

Premier League: West Ham come from behind twice at Hull City to earn 2-2 draw

West Ham twice came from behind to earn a battling 2-2 draw with Hull City in an entertaining clash at the KC Stadium.

Champions League: Martin Skrtel won't play for Liverpool against Ludogorets

Brendan Rodgers has confirmed defender Martin Skrtel will not be risked in Liverpool's return to the Champions League.

Champions League: Arsenal face defensive crisis for Borussia Dortmund trip

Arsenal are facing a defensive crisis ahead of their Champions League opener against Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday.

Mail Box

Woke Up This Morning Feeling Fine...

Man United fans are a more than a tad excited, Liverpool fans are a little depressed and we have mails on Mesut Ozil, Newcastle, Aston Villa and lots more...

Fixing The Mess At Old Trafford

Plenty of conclusions on United's win over QPR and their missing link(s), more Ozil frustration, how Liverpool are like lasagne, as well as a word on Diego Costa's temperament...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property