Scottish champions Celtic will take a 1-0 lead going into the second leg of qualifying against Swedish champions Elfsborg after a hard-fought victory at Celtic Park.
Influential midfielder Kris Commons scored the only goal of the game with a downward header on 77 minutes.
Both teams started brightly, with Elfsborg having the majority of possession in the opening ten minutes.
But Celtic looked well up for the challenge and then took a foothold in the game, the Scottish champions having a whole host of chances to take the lead.
The Scottish champions’ main chance of the first half landed with striker Anthony Stokes, whose effort came bouncing back off the bar.
Elfsborg also managed to hit the bar within the first half, with on-loan Celtic striker Mo Bangura setting up Anders Svensson, whose 20-yard effort came cannoning off the bar as the Swedish champions also failed to capitalise.
On 77 minutes the breakthrough came: Emilio Izaguirre crossed into the back post for Kris Commons to head in at the back post past Elfsborg keeper Stuhr-Ellegaard to give Celtic a 1-0 lead.
No away goal was achieved by Elfsborg, who will hope that they can beat Celtic at home next Wednesday and it should be known that the Swedish champions have not been beaten at home since September 2011, making it a tough job for Celtic.
Neil Lennon’s side have made a good start in their push for the Champions League fourth qualifying round but will face another tough game next week when they travel to the Borås Arena to play the second leg.
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