Celtic win to reach last 16

Kris Commons scored a late penalty as Celtic reached the Champions League knockout phase with a 2-1 win over Spartak Moscow at Parkhead.

Last Updated: 06/12/12 at 07:02 Post Comment

Gary Hooper: Fired Celtic ahead against Spartak Moscow

Gary Hooper: Fired Celtic ahead against Spartak Moscow

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Commons smashed in from the penalty spot after Georgios Samaras tumbled under a challenge from Spartak defender Marek Suchy in the 81st minute.

Celtic knew they had to better Benfica's result to reach the knockout stage for the first time since 2007/08 and the Portuguese side's goalless draw at Barcelona saw the Scottish champions through.

Everything was going to plan for the Bhoys when Gary Hooper latched on to Samaras's long pass before firing low underneath Spartak goalkeeper Sergei Pesiakov.

But a vociferous Celtic Park was silenced shortly before half-time when Ari equalised for the Russians.

Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike, a constant menace for Celtic throughout, threaded a pass to the Brazilian forward who expertly chipped over stranded home goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

There was a nervous atmosphere as the home crowd were acutely aware of the scoreline between already-qualified Barcelona and Benfica at the Nou Camp.

Samaras cracked the Spartak post with a fierce volley from Lustig's cross shortly after the second-half restart as the hosts tried to find a breakthrough.

Another chance went begging as Charlie Mulgrew's firm header was acrobatically pushed over the bar by Pesiakov.

But Neil Lennon's men found a winner seconds later as Samaras went to ground, under minimal contact, and referee Felix Brych pointed to the spot.

Commons kept his cool under intense pressure to blast his penalty off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.

Spartak playmaker Kim Kallstrom was sent off on 88 minutes for a second bookable offence as Celtic held on to defy the critics and join Barcelona in the knockout stage.


CelticTeam StatisticsSpartak Moscow
2Goals1
11st Half Goals1
5Shots on Target3
3Shots off Target4
3Blocked Shots2
11Corners1
14Fouls29
1Offsides4
2Yellow Cards2
0Red Cards1
74.5Passing Success84.8
31Tackles21
71Tackles Success85.7
40.1Possession59.9
61.3Territorial Advantage38.7
282Total Passes454
29Total Crosses13
144Lost Balls144
58Recoveries61
35.61st Half Poss.64.4
41.22nd Half Poss.58.8

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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