Celtic will take a three-goal lead into the second leg of the Champions League second qualifying round tie with Irish Premiership champions Cliftonville.

The Scottish giants dominated the first half and were rewarded with goals from Mikael Lustig and Georgios Samaras.

The home side came into the match more after the break but James Forrest put the outcome beyond doubt with a right-foot strike late in the game.

The return leg will be played at Celtic Park next Tuesday.

Celtic went into the game hoping to emulate their progress to the last 16 of Europe's most prestigious club competition last season.

But a pre-season tour to Germany which saw them lose four games, conceding 12 goals, was not the preparation they would have wanted.

Bhoys boss Neil Lennon indicated that he was taking the threat of the Irish league part-timers seriously by naming a strong starting line-up, while his counterpart Tommy Breslin also signalled attacking intent with his formation.

Any fears the visitors may struggle to come to terms with the artificial surface were quickly dispelled as the Scottish champions bossed the opening period.

Mikael Lustig opened the scoring for Celtic at Solitude

Mikael Lustig opened the scoring for Celtic at Solitude

Kris Commons saw his back-post header bounce off the woodwork after just two minutes and the attacking midfielder squandered a chance 15 minutes later when his first touch let him down following some poor Cliftonville defending.

Beram Kayal fired a right-foot shot wide and home skipper George McMullan almost mis-kicked into his own net, managing to put the ball behind for a corner.

Commons sent over the resulting corner and Swede Lustig timed his run perfectly, rising highest to head home after 25 minutes.

Liam Boyce had a sight of goal for the home side soon after, but his right-foot effort was easily gathered by Fraser Forster.

Samaras doubled Celtic's lead on 31 minutes when he turned and fired a left-foot shot past Conor Devlin.

Six minutes before the break, former Derby player Commons made room at the edge of the area, but his right-foot curling shot rebounded off the bar.

The Reds began the second half brightly and Stephen Garrett had a half-chance but was unable to make a good connection as he attempted to lob Forster.

Boyce then produced some good work on the right and found strike partner Joe Gormley, but his drive was blocked by Nigeria international Efe Ambrose.

Ciaran Caldwell went close and Barry Johnston fired over for the hosts, but as they began to tire Anthony Stokes almost added a third, hitting the bar with a left-foot shot and then whistling a long-range drive past Devlin's left-hand post.

With 10 minutes remaining, Forrest was off-target with a well-struck drive but he found his range soon after, taking on Jaimie McGovern before beating Devlin at his near post to seal the victory.

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Wednesday, 17 July 2013

Champions Lge qualifying

Home Team Score Away Team Time
Cliftonville 0-3 Celtic FT
(HT 0-2)
    • Lustig 25
    • Samaras 31
    • Forrest 84

    Cliftonville

    • 12 Devlin
    • 02 McGovern yellow card
    • 03 Scannell yellow card
    • 07 Caldwell (Donnelly 73)
    • 16 Smyth
    • 04 Johnston
    • 08 McMullan
    • 17 Catney
    • 10 Garrett (Curran 78)
    • 19 Gormley (O'Carroll 69)
    • 27 Boyce

    Substitutes

    • 01 Brown,
    • 15 Seydak,
    • 11 Donnelly,
    • 13 McNeill,
    • 20 Curran,
    • 23 Cosgrove,
    • 14 O'Carroll

    Celtic

    • 01 Forster
    • 03 Izaguirre
    • 04 Ambrose
    • 06 Wilson
    • 23 Lustig
    • 08 Brown
    • 15 Commons (Rogic 81)
    • 33 Kayal yellow card
    • 49 Forrest (McGeouch 86)
    • 09 Samaras (Watt 76)
    • 10 Stokes

    Substitutes

    • 24 Zaluska,
    • 59 Waters,
    • 18 Rogic,
    • 36 Irvine,
    • 46 McGeouch,
    • 17 Balde,
    • 32 Watt
    Ref: Sergiy BoikoAtt: 5,000
    CLIFTONVILLE
    CELTIC

    Possession

    • Cliftonville 45%
    • Celtic 55%

    Attempts on target

    • Cliftonville 5
    • Celtic 12

    Attempts off target

    • Cliftonville 4
    • Celtic 12

    Corners

    • Cliftonville 1
    • Celtic 2

    Fouls

    • Cliftonville 9
    • Celtic 13
    • Final Result
    • Full Time
    • 90:00+3:07 The referee ends the match.
    • 90:00+0:44 Tony Watt takes a shot. Save made by Conor Devlin.
    • 88:57 Chris Curran takes the direct free kick. A cross is delivered by Ronan Scannell, Kelvin Wilson makes a clearance.
    • 88:57 Booking Beram Kayal is cautioned by the ref for unsporting behaviour.
    • 88:50 Unfair challenge on Chris Curran by Beram Kayal results in a free kick.
    • 88:09 Tom Rogic takes a shot. Save made by Conor Devlin.
    • 85:52 Substitution James Forrest leaves the field to be replaced by Dylan McGeouch.
    • 83:40 GOAL - James ForrestCliftonville 0 - 3 Celtic James Forrest finds the net with a goal from inside the penalty area low into the middle of the goal. Cliftonville 0-3 Celtic.
    • 81:40 Barry Johnston produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that misses to the right of the target.
    • 79:31 Substitution Tom Rogic on for Kris Commons.
    • 79:31 Effort from the edge of the area by James Forrest goes wide of the right-hand upright.
    • 77:41 Direct free kick taken by Kelvin Wilson.
    • 77:41 Substitution Chris Curran on for Stephen Garrett.
    • 77:41 Unfair challenge on Beram Kayal by Ryan Catney results in a free kick.
    • 75:15 Substitution Georgios Samaras goes off and Tony Watt comes on.
    • 75:15 Shot from outside the box by Anthony Stokes goes wide right of the target.
    • 74:39 James Forrest takes a shot from 18 yards. Save by Conor Devlin.
    • 72:24 Substitution Martin Donnelly on for Ciaran Caldwell.
    • 68:42 Diarmuid O'Carroll has an effort at goal from outside the area which misses left.
    • 67:42 Substitution Diarmuid O'Carroll comes on in place of Joe Gormley.
    • 67:42 Shot by Anthony Stokes.
    • 66:52 Kelvin Wilson concedes a free kick for a foul on Joe Gormley. Free kick taken by Barry Johnston.
    • 65:51 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Brown by Stephen Garrett. Free kick taken by Mikael Lustig.
    • 63:51 Kris Commons takes a shot. Save by Conor Devlin.
    • 62:16 Foul by Efe Ambrose on Joe Gormley, free kick awarded. George McMullan crosses the ball in from the free kick, clearance by Georgios Samaras. Barry Johnston takes a shot from just outside the penalty area clears the crossbar.
    • Correction - 59:55 Foul by Beram Kayal on Barry Johnston, free kick awarded. Ronan Scannell takes the free kick. Unfair challenge on Liam Boyce by Scott Brown results in a free kick. Stephen Garrett takes the direct free kick. Marc Smyth takes a shot. Blocked by Kelvin Wilson.
    • 59:55 Foul by Beram Kayal on Barry Johnston, free kick awarded. Ronan Scannell takes the free kick. Unfair challenge on Liam Boyce by Scott Brown results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Stephen Garrett. Marc Smyth takes a shot. Blocked by Emilio Izaguirre.
    • 58:00 Anthony Stokes has an effort at goal from outside the area missing to the wide right of the target.
    • 56:28 Mikael Lustig produces a cross, Anthony Stokes takes a shot. Conor Devlin makes a comfortable save.
    • 55:03 Anthony Stokes takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Save by Conor Devlin.
    • 54:01 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Mikael Lustig by Liam Boyce. Kris Commons takes the free kick. The ball is sent over by Emilio Izaguirre, clearance made by Ronan Scannell.
    • 51:43 Free kick awarded for a foul by Beram Kayal on Ryan Catney. Ronan Scannell restarts play with the free kick.
    • 50:29 Ciaran Caldwell crosses the ball, comfortable save by Fraser Forster.
    • 48:28 Stephen Garrett takes a shot. Comfortable save by Fraser Forster.
    • 47:01 Ciaran Caldwell fouled by Beram Kayal, the ref awards a free kick. Free kick crossed right-footed by George McMullan from right channel, clearance made by Kris Commons.
    • 45:01 The second half kicks off.
    • Half Time
    • 45:00+0:09 The first half comes to an end.
    • 44:38 Centre by Ryan Catney, Efe Ambrose manages to make a clearance.
    • 42:08 Free kick awarded for a foul by Liam Boyce on Kelvin Wilson. Fraser Forster takes the free kick.
    • 41:01 Anthony Stokes is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Conor Devlin restarts play with the free kick.
    • 38:46 Kris Commons has an effort at goal from just outside the area that bounces off the post. Effort on goal by Beram Kayal from outside the penalty box goes harmlessly over the bar.
    • 38:17 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Georgios Samaras by Joe Gormley. Free kick taken by Georgios Samaras.
    • 36:06 Anthony Stokes has an effort direct from the free kick. Unfair challenge on Jamie McGovern by Georgios Samaras results in a free kick. Conor Devlin takes the free kick.
    • 36:06 Booking Ronan Scannell is shown a yellow card.
    • 36:02 Ronan Scannell gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James Forrest.
    • 34:32 Ciaran Caldwell produces a left-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.
    • 32:43 The referee gives a free kick against Liam Boyce for handball. Emilio Izaguirre takes the free kick.
    • 30:42 The assist for the goal came from Kris Commons.
    • 30:42 GOAL - Georgios SamarasCliftonville 0 - 2 Celtic Georgios Samaras fires in a brilliant goal from the edge of the area high into the middle of the goal. Cliftonville 0-2 Celtic.
    • 29:34 The ball is swung over by Georgios Samaras, Anthony Stokes takes a shot. Save made by Conor Devlin.
    • 28:11 Liam Boyce takes a shot. Comfortable save by Fraser Forster.
    • 27:34 Kris Commons produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.
    • 26:24 The ball is swung over by Anthony Stokes, save by Conor Devlin.
    • 25:40 Foul by Kelvin Wilson on Joe Gormley, free kick awarded. George McMullan takes the direct free kick.
    • 24:26 The assist for the goal came from Kris Commons.
    • 24:26 GOAL - Mikael LustigCliftonville 0 - 1 Celtic Mikael Lustig finds the net with a headed goal from close range. Cliftonville 0-1 Celtic.
    • 24:14 Inswinging corner taken by Kris Commons from the right by-line played to the near post,
    • 21:14 Direct free kick taken by Kris Commons. Beram Kayal produces a right-footed shot from outside the penalty box and misses wide left of the target.
    • 21:14 Booking Jamie McGovern is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
    • 21:05 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Georgios Samaras by Jamie McGovern.
    • 20:02 Corner taken left-footed by Kris Commons.
    • Correction - 19:25 The ball is sent over by Emilio Izaguirre.
    • 19:25 Emilio Izaguirre crosses the ball.
    • 18:02 Emilio Izaguirre challenges Stephen Garrett unfairly and gives away a free kick. Ronan Scannell restarts play with the free kick.
    • 16:54 Kris Commons fouled by Ryan Catney, the ref awards a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Kris Commons from the free kick, blocked by Ronan Scannell.
    • 13:10 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Joe Gormley by Emilio Izaguirre. Stephen Garrett takes the direct free kick. George McMullan sends in a cross, save by Fraser Forster.
    • 11:03 Emilio Izaguirre delivers the ball, Georgios Samaras has a header from close in and clears the crossbar.
    • 10:15 Ryan Catney challenges Georgios Samaras unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Georgios Samaras.
    • 7:41 Inswinging corner taken by Stephen Garrett from the left by-line, save made by Fraser Forster.
    • 7:14 Anthony Stokes takes a shot. Comfortable save by Conor Devlin.
    • 4:33 The referee blows for offside. Fraser Forster takes the indirect free kick.
    • 3:25 Shot on goal by James Forrest from just inside the area clears the crossbar.
    • 2:21 Georgios Samaras gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Marc Smyth. Conor Devlin takes the free kick.
    • 2:02 A cross is delivered by James Forrest, Kris Commons takes a shot.
    • 1:41 Ciaran Caldwell takes a shot. Blocked by Scott Brown.
    • 0:06 Liam Boyce fouled by Kelvin Wilson, the ref awards a free kick. Strike on goal comes in from Liam Boyce from the free kick.
    • 0:00 The match has kicked off.

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