Europa League - Group D
Celtic2Astra Giurgiu1

Celtic 2-1 Astra Giurgiu

Stefan Scepovic savours his first goal for Celtic after netting the opener against Astra Giurgiu of Romania
Stefan Scepovic savours his first goal for Celtic after netting the opener against Astra Giurgiu of Romania

Celtic laboured to victory against an Astra side who will feel they might have left Glasgow with at least a point.

The Romanians created more chances than the hosts but failed to break through.

They were made to suffer when Celtic finally found the net as Stefan Scepovic headed his first goal for the club before Stefan Johansen lashed high into the net.

Gabriel Enache quickly reduced the deficit but Celtic held out.

The Scottish champions have picked up seven points from three Europa League Group D games and sit top of the pile, with a trip to Romania up next for Ronny Deila's side in two weeks.

Stefan Scepovic rises to nod his first goal for Celtic and give his side a crucial lead against Astra Giurgiu
Stefan Scepovic rises to nod his first goal for Celtic and give his side a crucial lead against Astra Giurgiu

The manager will be keen to accentuate that positive aspect but the supporters will attest to the fact they once again witnessed a below-par Celtic performance.

Just as they had at times looked second-best here in the win over Dinamo Zagreb, they allowed Astra to dictate too often and but for good goalkeeping again by Craig Gordon and some wayward finishing, they would have been behind.

These were opponents with only one win in their last eight games, a run of form that had brought about a change of manager in the past fortnight.

That sequence includes a 5-1 thumping by Dinamo Zagreb in their opening fixture in Group D, followed by a 2-1 home loss to Salzburg.

They had, though, beaten Olympique Lyon on away goals in the qualifiers and after a turgid opening 20 minutes, during which Celtic dominated possession but failed to threaten the visitors' goal, Astra began to look more like that calibre of team.

Indeed, they had four clear-cut opportunities within 10 minutes as Gordon saved well from a powerful drive by Siedu Yahaya and a close-range Constantin Budescu effort, while Takayuki Seto and Enache both shot narrowly wide.

Celtic created little in the first half but Scepovic missed two glaring openings after the break before Astra again caused a handful of scares around Gordon's goal.

Norwegian midfielder Stefan Johansen buries the second goal for Celtic after a goalkeeper error
Norwegian midfielder Stefan Johansen buries the second goal for Celtic after a goalkeeper error

But Serbian striker Scepovic, looking increasingly forlorn, eased the tension as he rose to head an Anthony Stokes free-kick into the net.

And within moments, Johansen gave the home fans further cause to celebrate and relax as he capitalised on a fumble by the Astra keeper to hammer home.

It seemed Celtic were desperate to make life difficult for themselves though and so it was as Enache nipped in at the near post to clip the ball over the hitherto unbeatable Gordon.

But there were to be no late moments of anxiety for those in green and white, who will nonetheless know they will not often get away with such a display.

Line-ups

Celtic

  • 26Gordon
  • 23Lustig
  • 22Denayer
  • 5van Dijk
  • 3Izaguirre
  • 8Brown
  • 21MulgrewSubstituted forWakasoat 67'minutes
  • 25Johansen
  • 42McGregorSubstituted forTonevat 57'minutesBooked at 70mins
  • 12Scepovic
  • 10StokesSubstituted forKayalat 78'minutes

Substitutes

  • 2Matthews
  • 4Ambrose
  • 24Zaluska
  • 27Tonev
  • 28Griffiths
  • 32Wakaso
  • 33Kayal

Astra Giurgiu

  • 1Lung Jr.
  • 22Pliatsikas
  • 5Ben Youssef
  • 15OrosBooked at 72mins
  • 13Morais Júnior
  • 6YahayaBooked at 8mins
  • 14LabanSubstituted forFlorescuat 88'minutes
  • 9Enache
  • 8SetoSubstituted forFataiat 78'minutes
  • 91de AmorimSubstituted forRusat 88'minutes
  • 10Budescu

Substitutes

  • 4Florescu
  • 19Bukari
  • 20Chitu
  • 21Fatai
  • 25Gaman
  • 26Rus
  • 33Coman
Referee:
Kristinn Jakobsson

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamAstra Giurgiu
Possession
Home63%
Away37%
Shots
Home20
Away15
Shots on Target
Home3
Away4
Corners
Home9
Away2
Fouls
Home9
Away11

Live Text

Match ends, Celtic 2, Astra Giurgiu 1.

Full Time

Second Half ends, Celtic 2, Astra Giurgiu 1.

Attempt missed. Stefan Scepovic (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the right.

Attempt blocked. Stefan Scepovic (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.

Beram Kayal (Celtic) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Foul by George Florescu (Astra Giurgiu).

Foul by Beram Kayal (Celtic).

Júnior Morais (Astra Giurgiu) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Substitution

Substitution, Astra Giurgiu. Laurentiu Rus replaces William de Amorim.

Substitution

Substitution, Astra Giurgiu. George Florescu replaces Vincent Laban.

Attempt missed. Constantin Budescu (Astra Giurgiu) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Vincent Laban from a direct free kick.

Foul by Scott Brown (Celtic).

Júnior Morais (Astra Giurgiu) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

Attempt missed. Beram Kayal (Celtic) right footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Stefan Scepovic.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 2, Astra Giurgiu 1. Gabriel Enache (Astra Giurgiu) with an attempt from the left side of the six yard box to the centre of the goal.

Attempt blocked. Gabriel Enache (Astra Giurgiu) left footed shot from the left side of the six yard box is blocked. Assisted by William de Amorim with a cross.

Foul by Jason Denayer (Celtic).

Constantin Budescu (Astra Giurgiu) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 2, Astra Giurgiu 0. Stefan Johansen (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.

Substitution

Substitution, Astra Giurgiu. Kehinde Fatai replaces Takayuki Seto.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Beram Kayal replaces Anthony Stokes.

Attempt missed. Scott Brown (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box is too high following a set piece situation.

Anthony Stokes (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Cristian Oros (Astra Giurgiu).

Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Vincent Laban.

Goal!

Goal! Celtic 1, Astra Giurgiu 0. Stefan Scepovic (Celtic) header from very close range to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Anthony Stokes with a cross following a set piece situation.

Booking

Cristian Oros (Astra Giurgiu) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Mubarak Wakaso (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.

Foul by Cristian Oros (Astra Giurgiu).

Foul by Mubarak Wakaso (Celtic).

Gabriel Enache (Astra Giurgiu) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Booking

Aleksandar Tonev (Celtic) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

Foul by Aleksandar Tonev (Celtic).

Júnior Morais (Astra Giurgiu) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

Attempt missed. Vasileios Pliatsikas (Astra Giurgiu) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Gabriel Enache.

Substitution

Substitution, Celtic. Mubarak Wakaso replaces Charlie Mulgrew.

Attempt missed. Cristian Oros (Astra Giurgiu) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Vincent Laban with a cross following a corner.

Corner, Astra Giurgiu. Conceded by Mikael Lustig.

Attempt missed. Seydou Yahaya (Astra Giurgiu) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Takayuki Seto.

Attempt missed. Aleksandar Tonev (Celtic) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Anthony Stokes.

goal

As It Stood

A

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Villarreal32109277
2B Mgladbach31207255
3Apollon Limassol3102311-83
4FC Zürich301248-41

B

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Torino32103037
2Club Brugge31204135
3FC Copenhagen31113214
4HJK Helsinki300307-70

C

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Besiktas31206245
2Tottenham31206245
3Asteras Tripolis311146-24
4Partizan Belgrade301206-61

D

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Celtic32105327
2RB Salzburg32108537
3Dinamo Zagreb31027613
4Astra Giurgiu300339-60

E

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Dinamo Moscow33005239
2PSV Eindhoven31112204
3Estoril Praia31023303
4Panathinaikos301225-31

F

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Inter Milan32103037
2FK Qarabag311112-14
3Saint-Étienne30300003
4Dnipropetrovsk301202-21

G

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sevilla31204225
2Standard Liege31113214
3HNK Rijeka31115504
4Feyenoord310236-33

H

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Everton31205235
2Wolfsburg311167-14
3Lille30302203
4FK Krasnodar302146-22

I

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Sparta Prague32017436
2BSC Young Boys32018356
3Napoli32015326
4Slovan Bratislava3003010-100

J

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Steaua Bucharest32019456
2Dynamo Kiev32016426
3Aalborg BK320146-26
4Rio Ave300316-50

K

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Fiorentina33007079
2Guingamp311123-14
3PAOK Salonika31026423
4Dinamo Minsk301219-81

L

TeamPWDLFAGDPts
1Legia Warsaw33003039
2Trabzonspor32014226
3KSC Lokeren310213-23
4Metalist Kharkiv300314-30
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