Celtic advances in Champions League with 8-4 aggregate win


Rodgers recalled last season when Celtic survived a nervy second leg onslaught to reach the Champions League group stage with a narrow 5-4 aggregate play-off win over Hapoel Be'er Sheva. Although Scott Sinclair leveled eight minutes later, quick-fire Astana goals at the start of second half from Serikzhan Muzhikov and Patrick Twumasi restored the host's lead on the night. I thought we'd get through this [qualifying] campaign without anxiety!

"We'll see the draw on Thursday". From [Ntcham's goal], we really settled into the game.

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In the 69th minute, Twumasi scored again to make it 4-1 when he run on to a flicked on header on the Astana right and, with no challenge forthcoming, advanced towards goal before beating Gordon at his near post.

"We knew they were going to come out and press us high up the pitch, but for the first 15-20 minutes, we controlled the game".

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Yet even if a place among the third set of seeds would be a boost for the Scottish champions, Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers admits he would like to make a return to his former club Liverpool in the Champions League group stages.

Manchester United and Manchester City are confirmed among the second seeds in the group stages, which means they will avoid potential clashes with Barcelona, PSG, Atletico Madrid and Borussia Dortmund. It's hard to take, but we showed great resilience to get two goals and kill the tie off. "Fair play to Astana, they had a go, but the job was done in the first leg".

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"There will be times when they are up against it and Celtic will need a better defensive shape collectively, to be hard to play against".