Champions League - Qualifying - Second Round - 1st Leg
KR Reykjavík0Celtic1

KR Reykjavík 0-1 Celtic

Callum McGregor scored a debut goal to get Celtic boss Ronny Deila's reign off to a winning start in the Champions League qualifier against KR Reykjavik.

The Scottish champions dominated but had to wait until the last few minutes before 21-year-old midfielder McGregor netted on his first start for the club.

Celtic manager Ronny Deila

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Interview - Celtic manager Ronny Deila

Kris Commons had struck a first-half volley against the bar and Leigh Griffiths did the same after the break.

The return leg of the tie takes place at Murrayfield next week.

The surroundings were modest to say the least but Celtic took to the field at the KR Vollur Stadium hoping this would be the first step on their way to the glamour and riches of the Champions League group stages for the third consecutive season.

The hosts are 11 games into their league campaign and currently sit third in Iceland's top flight. Yet their superior match sharpness was not evident in the opening seconds.

Charlie Mulgrew, captaining Celtic in the absence of the injured Scott Brown, released Griffiths with an inch-perfect through ball but the striker's touch let him down and Stefan Magnusson raced off his line to snuff out the danger.

Celtic midfielder Kris Commons is out of luck with a dig from distance in the first half
Commons is out of luck with an effort from distance in the first half

Griffiths then controlled a high ball brilliantly, lobbed it over the head of a defender and laid off to Commons, who crashed a superb volley against the crossbar.

Scotland's reigning player of the year tried his luck again from distance minutes later and this time Magnusson pushed it past a post.

English striker Gary Martin had the home side's first effort on goal, pouncing on a poor header from Emilio Izaguirre and slapping in a shot that proved no test for England's World Cup goalkeeper Fraser Forster.

Seconds after half-time, Griffiths linked well with Commons again but the latter's right foot curler from 18 yards was just too high.

Commons had further chances as the pressure on the home defence grew but could not seriously trouble the goalkeeper.

Callum McGregor scores via a deflection to secure victory in Ronny Deila's first match in charge
McGregor scored with the help of a deflection to secure victory in Deila's first match in charge

Griffiths' thunderous drive did have the beating of Magnusson but it came back off the underside of the bar.

Anthony Stokes and Griffiths made way for Derk Boerrigter and Teemu Pukki as Deila shuffled his pack and the latter became the next Celtic player to hit the frame of the goal.

Magnusson denied Commons and McGregor in quick succession and Pukki struck the outside of a post after latching on to a loose ball.

At the other end, former Celtic youth player Kjartan Finnbogason found himself in acres of space on a rare foray forward for the hosts but was unable to make it count.

Magnusson then saved well from Dutchman Boerrigter before the impressive stopper denied Pukki minutes later.

However, he was unable to prevent Celtic finally breaking through with six minutes to play. McGregor cut inside from the right before firing in a low left-foot shot that took a deflection before nestling in the net.

The goal means Deila's side go into next week's second leg - which will be at Murrayfield with Celtic Park unavailable due to the Commonwealth Games - in a strong position to complete an aggregate victory.

Line-ups

KR Reykjavík

  • 1Magnusson
  • 3Hauksson
  • 21Gunnarsson
  • 16SaevarssonBooked at 89mins
  • 18Jósepsson
  • 2Sigurdarson
  • 10Finnbogason
  • 8Sigurdsson
  • 7MartinSubstituted forRagnarssonat 81'minutes
  • 4Lorenzo BalbiSubstituted forZato Arounaat 59'minutes
  • 15AtlasonBooked at 67minsSubstituted forOrmarssonat 88'minutes

Substitutes

  • 5Jonsson
  • 6Gunnarsson
  • 9Ragnarsson
  • 12Jensson
  • 14Ormarsson
  • 23Sigurjónsson
  • 24Zato Arouna

Celtic

  • 1Forster
  • 23Lustig
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 25Johansen
  • 4Ambrose
  • 5van Dijk
  • 28GriffithsSubstituted forBoerrigterat 74'minutes
  • 21Mulgrew
  • 10StokesSubstituted forPukkiat 75'minutes
  • 15Commons
  • 42McGregor

Substitutes

  • 2Matthews
  • 11Boerrigter
  • 20Pukki
  • 24Zaluska
  • 33Kayal
  • 34O'Connell
  • 53Henderson
Referee:
Andreas Pappas

Match Stats

Home TeamKR ReykjavíkAway TeamCeltic
Possession
Home25%
Away75%
Shots
Home3
Away28
Shots on Target
Home1
Away7
Corners
Home2
Away11
Fouls
Home12
Away9

Live Text

Match ends, KR Reykjavík 0, Celtic 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, KR Reykjavík 0, Celtic 1.

Attempt blocked. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Derk Boerrigter.

Foul by Mikael Lustig (Celtic).

Zato (KR Reykjavík) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Zato (KR Reykjavík) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Jónas Saevarsson.

Booking

Jónas Saevarsson (KR Reykjavík) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Emilio Izaguirre (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Foul by Jónas Saevarsson (KR Reykjavík).

Substitution

Substitution, KR Reykjavík. Almarr Ormarsson replaces Emil Atlason.

Offside, Celtic. Stefan Johansen tries a through ball, but Mikael Lustig is caught offside.

Attempt blocked. Callum McGregor (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Emilio Izaguirre.

Foul by Derk Boerrigter (Celtic).

Haukur Heidar Hauksson (KR Reykjavík) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! KR Reykjavík 0, Celtic 1. Callum McGregor (Celtic) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Efe Ambrose.

Attempt blocked. Stefan Johansen (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Mikael Lustig.

Attempt blocked. Charlie Mulgrew (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

Attempt saved. Teemu Pukki (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Mikael Lustig.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Stefan Logi Magnusson.

Attempt saved. Derk Boerrigter (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Emilio Izaguirre.

Attempt blocked. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Substitution

Substitution, KR Reykjavík. Thorsteinn Ragnarsson replaces Gary Martin.

Attempt missed. Kris Commons (Celtic) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Callum McGregor following a corner.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Baldur Sigurdsson.

Attempt blocked. Callum McGregor (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Kris Commons.

Teemu Pukki (Celtic) hits the left post with a left footed shot from the centre of the box.

Attempt saved. Callum McGregor (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Attempt saved. Kris Commons (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the centre of the goal.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Teemu Pukki replaces Anthony Stokes.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Derk Boerrigter replaces Leigh Griffiths.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Emil Atlason.

Corner, KR Reykjavík. Conceded by Virgil van Dijk.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Grétar Sigfinnur Sigurdarson.

Booking

Emil Atlason (KR Reykjavík) is shown the yellow card.

Hand ball by Emil Atlason (KR Reykjavík).

Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Stefan Johansen.

Offside, KR Reykjavík. Stefan Logi Magnusson tries a through ball, but Gary Martin is caught offside.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Zato.

Attempt missed. Mikael Lustig (Celtic) header from the left side of the six yard box misses to the right. Assisted by Anthony Stokes with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Aron Bjarki Jósepsson.

goal

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