Celtic take full control going into the second leg of the Champions League second qualifying round against Cliftonville after a domineering 3-0 victory against the Irish in Belfast.
The Bhoys started brightly, with midfielder Kris Commons hitting the bar within just a few minutes of play. It was a warning for the Irish side who responded with some attacking threat just after. They made the most of a rusty Celtic side for the next 15 minutes but failed to score.
Neil Lennon’s side, without Gary Hooper who is set for a transfer to QPR or Norwich, knew exactly what they were doing with Celtic breaking the deadlock on 25 minutes when Swedish defender Mikael Lustig powered above the Cliftonville defence to make the score 1-0.
Celtic were rampant and scored again just six minutes later with Greek striker Georgios Samaras scoring after 31 minutes making the score 2-0. The Scottish champions were comfortable from this point and were also very solid defensive wise.
Scottish midfielder Commons hit the post just before half time, with him unlucky to find the net. It proved to be an overall solid half for Celtic throughout the pitch.
After half time the visitors again found the frame of the goal, this time the upright with striker Anthony Stokes being the culprit. He missed by just a few inches.
Although they still were not finished, with another goal near the end of the game. With James Forrest firing an unstoppable shot past Irish keeper Conor Devlin making the final score 3-0 to the away team.
Celtic take a major upper hand into their second leg against Cliftonville, and unless there is any major shocks on the cards from the Irish side then we will see Celtic progress with ease.
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