Celtic back at the top table
Celtic 2 Helsinborgs IF 0 (Agg 4-0):Celtic are back in the draw for the Champions League group stages after a four-year absence after another 2-0 win over Swedish champions Helsingborgs, this time in front of their own rapturous fans in Glasgow.
Neil Lennon’s men took a 2-0 lead into the second leg of their play-off against the Swedish side and Gary Hooper’s close-range strike on the half-hour mark, albeit from what looked like an offside position, effectively ended the contest.
Two minutes from time Victor Wanyama headed in a Kris Commons cross to put gloss on a fine victory and confirm the Hoops’ place in tomorrow’s draw in Monaco.
Hooper said on Sky Sports 2: “It’s very special. We’ve been waiting for it for four years. To play like that away and at home is amazing. To keep a clean sheet is a bonus and we’re through to the group stage.
“I always look to see if I’m offside... I nearly missed it as well, but it just went in and I’ll take it.”
wanyama added: “Celtic is a big club and I came here for the Champions League. We’ve been working very hard and I’m very happy to get the chance to play in the Champions League. The fans were keeping us going. They were fantastic today. They were with us from the beginning until the end and we are very proud of them.”
The Kenya midfielder now cannot wait to test himself against Europe’s elite.
“The teams which play in the group stages are all very good teams,” he said. “We are looking forward to playing very, very big teams. We are very happy to make the group stages.”
Dynamo Kievheld off a spirited fightback from Borussia Monchengladbachto claim their place in the group stage of the Champions League with a 4-3 aggregate win.
The Ukrainian side came into the second leg with a healthy looking 3-1 advantage from the opening match in Germany.
However, Gladbach took the lead after 70 minutes when Yevhen Khacheridi put through his own net, and that was doubled eight minutes later with a Juan Arango header.
Ideye Brown’s chip two minutes from time eased Dynamo nerves though, and although they were beaten 2-1 on the night their first-leg performance proved decisive.
Spartak Moscowalso made sure of their place in the next round with a 1-1 draw at Fenerbahce.
The Russians were in front after just six minutes through Ari’s close-range finish from Aiden McGeady's low cross, but Moussa Sow levelled matters in the 70th minute with his header from Alex’s corner.
Spartak were then forced to play the last nine minutes with 10 men following the dismissal of Demy de Zeeuw for a second yellow card but they held on for the draw and a 3-2 aggregate success.
Clujbeat Basle1-0 to wrap up a 3-1 aggregate win. Pantelis Kapetanos scored the only goal of the night after 20 minutes while Alexander Frei missed a penalty for the Swiss visitors.