Celtic booked their place in the Europa League play-off round with a 3-0 victory over Jablonec. The Scottish champions were cruising at half time after goals from Scott Sinclair, Moussa Dembele and Callum McGregor.
Celtic 3-0 Jablonec (agg 7-2) – Celtic cruise into Europa League play-off.
Celtic maintained their recent revival by cruising through Jablonec FK of the Czech Republic in the Europa League’s third qualifying round at Celtic Park.
From the opening whistle, the dominating hosts were in command, with David Turnbull scoring his first goal of the season.
James Forrest added a deserved third after another magnificent effort from the midfielder made it 2-0.
In the play-off, Ange Postecoglou’s team will meet AZ Alkmaar.
After being knocked out of the Champions League qualifications by Danish side Midtjylland and losing their first Scottish Premiership game of the season to Hearts, Celtic have now won three games in a row with 13 goals scored to rekindle their season.
The atmosphere was electric at Celtic Park, with three stands filled to the rafters, and the players picked up on it.
Kyogo Furuhashi had scored three goals in Celtic’s weekend thrashing of Dundee, and he might have put Celtic up inside 40 seconds. When he was one-on-one with Jan Hanus, he attempted to fake the goalie, but the Czech put a foot in front of him and denied him.
After sliding on to Forrest’s through pass, the Japanese striker quickly put the ball in the goal, but he was called offside.
But the goal was on its way. Celtic eventually overcame the opponents’ resistance after Stephen Welsh twice headed over and Turnbull had a powerful drive deflected.
Greg Taylor slid the ball to Turnbull, who pushed it past the goalie with a beautiful finish with the outside of his right foot.
Carl Starfelt dived in on Dominik Plestil inside the area, giving Jablonec a half-chance and a penalty shout, but goalkeeper Joe Hart was having none of it.
Turnbull then broke the stalemate by collecting a pass from Callum McGregor, sizing up the shot from outside the area, and hammering it inside the post.
Celtic were on autopilot until the visitors woke them up with two opportunities in a minute, with Hart again having to stop close-range efforts from Martin Dolezal and Milos Kratochvil.
However, it was three minutes later that Odsonne Edouard broke free of the defense and tried a lob to Hanus, who did well to get a hand to it, but Forrest was there to knock in the rebound.
Celtic took their foot off the pedal at times, and Hart was almost punished when he was robbed of the ball inside the area after going for a run with it. The loose ball was shot towards goal by Tomas Cvancara, but the Celtic defense was able to stop it.
The player of the match
Even without his two goals, David Turnbull made an impression for Celtic in midfield with some excellent passes.
What did we discover?
Celtic displayed lots of offensive creativity once again, demonstrating Postecoglou’s impact on the squad.
The foot took off the pedal at times, and they can still crack defensively, but two superb stops from Joe Hart will boost his confidence, and it’s a second clean sheet in a straight for Celtic.
What did they have to say?
“(The fans) was fantastic,” Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou said. “It was everything everyone thought it would be to me.” It was really amazing.
“At the moment, we’re expecting a core group of payers – we don’t have a lot of depth – to play a high-intensity kind of game, and having the audience behind them simply gives them that additional boost of energy they may need if the tank is running low.”
What comes next?
Celtic will face Hearts in the Scottish League Cup on Sunday (15:00 BST) before playing AZ Alkmaar in the Europa League play-off round the following week.
- 74’minutes 18RogicSubstituted forSoroat
- At 84’minutes, 42McGregor was substituted by Bitton.
- At 74’minutes, 14Turnbull was substituted by Ajeti.
- 8Furuhashi The time slot has been set for 45 minutes. At 66’minutes, he was replaced by Edouard.
- At 74’minutes,Christie was substituted by Montgomery. The time slot has been set for 85 minutes.
- 4HolkScheduled for 48 minutes
- At 70’minutes, 24Plestil was substituted by Malnsky.
- 17Kratochvíl The time slot has been set for 40 minutes.
- Smejkalat was replaced by 11 Pilar for 87 minutes.
- Cvancaraat 70’minutes was replaced by 15Dolezal.
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