29 August, 2013 - 09:34

Celtic make it to the Champions League

Celtic make it to the Champions League

Celtic have battled back from two goals down after the first leg of the Champions League playoff last week with an inspired victory in Glasgow 3-0.

Putting the visitors under pressure from the very start of the match Celtic managed to reduce the deficit minutes before the break with a stunning Kris Commons’ strike from just outside the box. Georgios Samaras was lucky enough to find the deflected ball and level the chances three minutes after the restart. An inspired performance from the Kazakh goalkeeper Mokin and solid defence saved the visitors’ hopes for progression in the second half. Both teams struck the crossbars before James Forrest netted a third goal after a brilliant Anthony Stokes’ effort in the dying time, ruining the Kazakhstan side’s bid of getting to the Champions League group stage for the first time.

Neil Lennon could not hide exaltation after the match:
“That was the greatest thing I’ve ever done in football.
“The last three months were in preparation for this. We lost three very important players, Victor Wanyama, Gary Hooper and Kelvin Wilson and it has been difficult to replace them. Coming from 2-0 down tonight just makes the players all the more remarkable.
“They were wonderful, absolutely wonderful.”

Milan, Zenit St.Petersburg, Viktoria Plzen and Real Sociedad also secured the European season.

The draw will take place in Monaco on Thursday night.

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Author: Leon Smolski

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