Edinburgh setting fails to hamper Glasgow giants
Celtic make easy passage and St Patrick’s Athletic could be opponents in next round
Celtic’s Virgil van Dijk scores his second goal against KR Reykjavik during the Second Qualifying Round, second leg match at Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh.
Celtic 4 KR Reykjavik 0 Celtic win 5-0 on aggregate
Celtic eased through to the Champions League third qualifying round with an emphatic 4-0 win over KR Reykjavik at Murrayfield stadium in Edinburgh last night.
Leading 1-0 from the first-leg in Iceland and starting the match in top gear, Celtic wasted little time as defender Virgil van Dijk helped himself to a brace within 20 minutes to ensure a comfortable night for the Scottish champions .
Striker Teemu Pukki grabbed a third before the break as Celtic played with impressive pace and purpose to confirm their place in the next round against either St Patrick’s Athletic or Polish side Legia Warsaw, who play their second leg at Tallaght Stadium tonight.
The second-half was academic. Celtic had reportedly rejected a bid from Southampton for goalkeeper Fraser Forster before the match but the England international was mostly a spectator as the Hoops kept a firm grip on proceedings, with Pukki adding a fine fourth in the 71st minute to paint a proper picture of the home side’s superiority.
There was a decent crowd and atmosphere inside the home of Scottish rugby – used as Celtic Park is out of commission due to its use in the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow – and they saw their side open the scoring in the 14th minute when Kris Commons’s corner from the left was headed towards goal by Charlie Mulgrew and, with Stefan Magnusson flailing, the ball appeared to come off Van Dijk’s knee and into the net from a couple of yards out.
The Hoops’ second also came from a corner and when the ball landed at right-back Mikael Lustig at the far side of the box, he guided his header towards the back post where Magnusson was again grasping air as Van Dijk headed into an empty net.
The visiting goalkeeper redeemed himself a little in the 24th minute with fine save on the stretch from Pukki’s powerful drive but three minutes later he was helpless as the Parkhead forward eventually got his name on the score sheet when he slid the ball in from two yards after being set up by Callum McGregor.
Celtic were in complete control with the limited visitors simply out of their depth.
The Celtic fans chanted and serenaded their side to the final whistle, stopping to cheer Pukki when he rounded the goalkeeper at the edge of the box before slamming the ball high into the net for his second.
CELTIC: Forster, Lustig, Ambrose, van Dijk, Izaguirre (Matthews 61), Griffiths (Kayal 61), Johansen, Mulgrew, McGregor, Commons, Pukki (Henderson 72). Subs Not Used: Zaluska, Biton, Boerrigter, Watt.
KR REYKJAVIK: Magnusson, Haukur Hauksson, Josepsson, Gretar Sigurdsson, Gunnar Thor Gunnarsson, Finnbogason, Saevarsson (Zato-Arouna 57), Baldur Sigurdsson, Atlason (Ormarsson 46), Lorenzo (Egil Jonsson 72), Martin. Subs Not Used: Jensson, Ragnarsson, Gudmundur Gunnarsson, Hroar Sigurdsson.
Referee: Andris Treim