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Live Reporting

Colin Moffat

All times stated are UK

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  1. Post update

    Nir Bitton

    I'll sign off now. Thanks for your company on a good night for Celtic. A dogged 0-0 in Baku was enough to make progress in Champions League qualifying. One more hurdle to go before that anthem can be played in the east end of Glasgow again...

  2. Post update

    Can Aberdeen emulate Celtic's achievements? The Dons are in action tomorrow night as they look to overturn a 2-1 deficit against Kairat Almaty at Pittodrie.

    We'll be back for that Europa League qualifier, with more live radio and text coverage, so make sure you join us.

  3. Post update

    BBC Sportsound co-commentator Pat Bonner

    "I was impressed by Celtic's discipline. You can't always go gung-ho and press high up the pitch. This was a really good team effort and the game will improve their fitness at this early stage of the season."

  4. Post update

    BBC Sportsound pundit Mark Wilson

    "You can see a marked improvement in Celtic's fitness from this time last year. They didn't look tired at all, with all the talk of the heat and the heavy pitch."

  5. Post update

    More from Celtic boss Ronny Deila

    Looking ahead to potential opponents in the play-off round...

    "I don't think that team will be better than the team we met today."

  6. Post update

    Celtic manager Ronny Deila on BBC Radio Scotland

    "I'm so proud of the team, they defended very well and were disciplined. Offensively, we should have punished them more. We met a very good team, so this was a good performance. In the future we want to be on the ball more but we are not there yet."

  7. Post update

    One area of concern for Celtic boss Ronny Deila may be the lack of penetration up front. Celtic are going to face a much higher calibre of opposition in Europe this season and will need to be more ruthless in attack.

  8. Post update

    Central defenders Virgil van Dijk and Dedryk Boyata were impressive for Celtic tonight but I reckon Nir Bitton maybe shades the man-of-the-match honours. The tall midfielder was always composed in possession, won lots of those nibbly tackles and cut out lots of passes with this big long legs of his.

  9. Post update

    So who will Celtic face next? The draw for the play-off round is made on Friday at 11:00 BST. Rest assured, BBC Sport will have that covered...

  10. #bbcscotfootball

    MBEHAN on Twitter: "One step closer to the promised land, well done the hoops & RD for proving doubters wrong #bbcscotfootball #passportrenewalneeded"

    Tony Mayfield on Twitter: "Job done! Well done @celticfc. On to the next round... #bbcscotfootball #COYBIG"

  11. Post update

    It's always tense with such a narrow lead but Celtic were seldom in any real danger in Baku. Craig Gordon made one excellent save in the first half but he was largely well protected by his back four, while Nir Bitton and Scott Brown provided a disciplined shield in central midfield.

  12. Post update

    Dedryk Boyata's late goal in Glasgow was the difference between the sides and Celtic really should have added another in the closing stages of the second leg as they squandered a couple of breakaway chances.


    Qarabag 0-0 Celtic (0-1)

    Celtic defender Virgil van Dijk

    And breathe... Celtic are through to the final play-off round in Champions League qualifying.

  14. Post update

    Stefan Johansen eats up some valuable time with a gallop forward before he is taken out by a frustrated opponent. That should be it.

  15. Post update

    The Celtic defence is standing tall as Qarabag launch a series of hopeful crosses forward.

  16. Post update

    Nir Bitton ambles forward as the home side are exposed at the back but his pass forward for Leigh Griffiths is too near Ibrahim Sehic as the big goalkeeper comes racing out to kick clear.

  17. Post update

    That's the 90 up and we're going to get another five minutes of stoppage time. There must be a lot of nail-biting getting done out there...


    Emilio Izaguirre hammers the ball away after giving away a foul and that's only going to end one way. His name goes into the referee's little black book.

  19. Post update

    James Forrest sprints away from three opponents and a break of the ball sees him bearing down on goal from the right. The Celtic substitute should really have a blast at goal but he elects to square it and a defender intercepts...

  20. Post update

    Celtic make their final change as James Forrest takes the place of Stuart Armstrong. Five minutes away from the 90 now...

  21. CLOSE!

    Stefan Johansen to kill the tie! No, he shoots wide of the post after the ball gets stuck under his foot on the edge of the penalty box. A big, big chance, only the keeper to beat...

  22. Post update

    As we enter the final 10 minutes, Qarabag are cranking it up, forcing Celtic deeper and deeper. A few anxious moments around the edge of the visitors' penalty box before Guseynov curls a shot well wide of the mark.

  23. Post update

    BBC Sportsound co-commentator Pat Bonner

    "The final ball wasn't quite there for Gary Mackay-Steven but the work-rate was terrific."

  24. Post update

    Kris Commons is ready to come on for Celtic and it looks like Gary Mackay-Steven is the man making way.

  25. Post update

    Substitute Elvin Mammadov introduces himself to Mikael Lustig by clattering the Celtic full-back and that will waste some more time before another water-break.

  26. Post update

    Another change for Qarabag as Elvin Mammadov comes on for Alharbi El Jadeyaoui.

  27. Post update

    Nadir Ciftci looks knackered as he takes a series of high fives from his mates on the Celtic bench. The striker did a lot of chasing and never got a glimpse of goal for his trouble. Can Leigh Griffiths fare better in the final 22 minutes?

  28. Post update

    Afran Ismayilov replaces Rydell Poepon in the home attack before Celtic switch their lone striker, bringing on Leigh Griffiths for Nadir Ciftci.


    First booking of the night goes to Stefan Johansen for hacking down an opponent near the halfway line after a slack moment from Virgil van Dijk, who gives the ball away after a gallop out of defence.

  30. Post update

    Celtic winger Gary Mackay-Steven slaloms his way across the pitch to lay the ball off for Stuart Armstrong, who decides to have a pop from out on the left but the strike does not threaten the target.

  31. Post update

    Chris McLaughlin

    BBC Sport in Azerbaijan

    "Celtic really struggling to string passes together. The pitch isn't helping but the home side are growing in confidence."

  32. Post update

    Celtic are sitting deeper and deeper as Alharbi El Jadeyaoui cuts in from the right to have a go at finding the far top corner. The shot lacks accuracy and power though and it's an easy catch for Craig Gordon.

  33. Post update

    A couple of corners for the home side in quick succession. The second is worked to the edge of the box but it's another wild shot, this time from Badavi Guseynov.

  34. Post update

    Celtic get some welcome time on the ball but a heavy touch from Nadir Ciftci brings that passing sequence to an end. The big striker needs to do better than that.

  35. #bbcscotfootball

    Paul Black on Twitter: "Still think Celtic will have to score to go through. Surely Griffiths has to come on sooner rather than later #bbcscotfootball"

  36. Post update

    Qarabag are on the offensive straight away and win a corner but the buzz of anticipation in the stadium soon turns to groans of frustration as defender Rashad Sadygov skies a shot from the edge of the penalty area.

  37. KICK-OFF

    We're up and running again. No changes from either side.

  38. Post update

    The teams are back out at the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium. Celtic are 45 minutes away from the Champions League play-off round.

  39. Post update

    Chris McLaughlin

    BBC Sport in Azerbaijan

    "Ronny Deila will be happy enough with that first half here. Celtic did well to contain an early Qarabag onslaught. Ciftci working hard up front as the visitors go longer than usual. A nervy second half to come."

  40. Text us on 80295

    Nick, Burnley: "Stuck at work so relying on the bbc update, Come on you hoops!!"

  41. #bbcscotfootball

    Andrew Priestley on Twitter: "A draw away from home against a good footballing side and in an intimidating atmosphere would be a great result for Celtic. #bbcscotfootball"

  42. Post update

    Qarabag are going to have to go for it at some stage after the break and that is sure to leave gaps at the back. Celtic have Leigh Griffiths and James Forrest on the bench and those pair can shift, while fellow substitute Kris Commons is full of guile. In this heat, Ronny Deila is sure to be thinking of making a few changes later on.


    Qarabag 0-0 Celtic (0-1)

    Nadir Ciftci is the lone striker for Celtic

    A couple of wobbles for Celtic and one excellent save from Craig Gordon to deny Richard Almeida. The visitors have done little with the ball, with lone striker Nadir Ciftci chasing after scraps but manager Ronny Deila will be largely satisfied since his team have not really been under any sustained pressure.

  44. Post update

    That's the first shot on target from Celtic and it's from a long, long way out as Nir Bitton comes over all Xabi Alonso and tries to catch the keeper napping from the halfway line. Ibrahim Sehic scurries back a few steps and gathers comfortably.

  45. Post update

    Celtic are gifted a corner as Ibrahim Sehic makes a mess of gathering a routine high ball but the giant Bosnian keeper makes amends by decisively punching clear from Stuart Armstrong's delivery.

  46. Post update

    Qarabag's Dutch forward Rydell Poepon gets a touch on a cross from the left but can only balloon his effort over under pressure from compatriot Virgil van Dijk.

  47. Post update

    Qarabag find some room behind the Celtic defence and Virgil van Dijk scoops the ball behind for a corner. The visitors then repel the set-piece without too much fuss.

  48. Post update

    The teams stop for a quick gulp of water in a Uefa sanctioned water-break. Celtic boss Ronny Deila looks on anxiously, perhaps wishing he had something stronger to drink.


    That's better from Craig Gordon. Much, much better. Richard Almeida de Oliveira bustles forward and hammers a shot in from 22 yards, with the Celtic keeper making a fantastic one-handed diving save to keep his team ahead in this tie.

  50. Post update

    Celtic are clipping the ball in behind the home defence any chance they get but the tactic is yet to bear fruit.

  51. Post update

    Qarabag launch an attack down the right and a cross from El Jadeyaoui causes all sorts of bother for goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who has a flap at it, with the ball appearing to bounce off his chest before it's hacked clear.

  52. Post update

    Chris McLaughlin

    BBC Sport in Azerbaijan

    "Celtic weathering the early Qarabag storm and they're beginning to grow in confidence. The noise is incessant but the heat isn't as bad as it was last night."

  53. Post update

    Referee Markus Strombergsson is letting a few heavy challenges go as Celtic enjoy a decent spell, probing for openings around the home penalty area.

  54. Post update

    From the set-piece, Gara Garayev gets a glimpse of goal but his weak shot trundles wide.

  55. Post update

    Qarabag break from a throw-in in their own half, with Reynaldo driving forward and Emilio Izaguirre needs to make a good sliding challenge to knock El Jadeyaoui's cross out for a corner.

  56. Post update

    BBC Sportsound co-commentator Pat Bonner

    "I think set-pieces could be a real positive for Celtic. They have Van Dijk, Boyata, Bitton, Lustig and Ciftci and it doesn't look like Qarabag have the players to match that threat."

  57. Post update

    Qarabag win a corner and the pressure is relieved immediately as the ref spots Brazilian striker Reynaldo using an arm to control in a congested penalty box.

  58. Post update

    Celtic string a couple of passes together in the opposition half but the move comes to an abrupt end as Gary Mackay-Steven strays offside. Moments later, Stefan Johansen makes one of his trademark runs forward but can't bring a lofted pass under control.

  59. Post update

    There's a lot of bumping and barging going on and Dedryk Boyata is sent sprawling to the turf after a similarly robust challenge on Nadir Ciftci. Swedish referee Markus Strombergsson might be in for a busy night.

  60. Post update

    Celtic are not taking any early risks on the bumpy pitch as Virgil van Dijk hammers a couple of long balls out of defence.

  61. KICK-OFF

    We are off! Celtic in their traditional green and white hoops, the home side in black.

  62. Post update

    Chris McLaughlin

    BBC Sport in Azerbaijan

    "An incredible wall of noise and colour here. This has an old school Euro tie feel. Strap yourselves in, here we go."

  63. Post update

    And what about the stadium name? Do I really need to tell you who Tofiq Bahramov is?

    He is the Azerbaijani, often referred to as the "Russian linesman", who helped award England's highly contentious third goal in the 1966 World Cup final at Wembley.

    German goalkeeper Hans Tilkowski looks on during the 1966 World Cup final

    Never in, was it? And don't get me started on the fourth - a pitch invasion in full swing...

  64. Post update

    Celtic captain Scott Brown

    "The Champions League is huge for this club, it's where we belong.

    "You have to trust in your defence, midfield and strike force and let everyone do their job. We defend well as a team and we can keep a clean sheet and score."

    Brown was talking yesterday, he is out on the pitch now, leading the exchange of handshakes. Not long to go until kick-off...

  65. Post update

    Home fans

    The home fans are making a good noise ahead of kick-off. It looks like 'taps aff' is de rigueur in Baku at this time of year. Has BBC Radio Scotland match commentator Liam McLeod ditched his simmet yet?

  66. Post update

    This time last year, Celtic thought they were out of the Champions League after a 6-1 aggregate tanking from Legia Warsaw. However, they were granted a reprieve when it transpired the Poles had fielded a suspended player. They could not benefit further from that break as they lost out to Maribor in the play-off round, entering the Europa League and reaching the last 32.

  67. Post update

    Azerbaijan champions for the last two seasons, Qarabag beat Rudar Pljevlja of Macedonia 1-0 on aggregate in the previous round, while Celtic were making light work of Stjarnan.

    And the hosts have a pretty handy European record of late. Last year, they beat Salzburg at this stage of Champions League qualifying and were denied a group place on away goals against Dutch club FC Twente. In their Europa League group they were unbeaten at home against Saint-Etienne, Inter Milan and eventual runners-up Dnipro.

  68. Post update

    Celtic boss Ronny Deila on BBC Radio Scotland

    "There is always pressure. This is a big, big match for us and we are well prepared. We need a good performance and, if we get that, I'm confident we'll get through."

  69. Post update

    Former Celtic goalkeeper Pat Bonner on BBC Radio Scotland

    "I'm not surprised Ciftci is starting. He has to hold the ball up well tonight and Celtic need to get players up to support him."

  70. Post update

    Celtic fans in Baku

    These chaps are opting for the traditional Scottish method of keeping hydrated in warmer climes. I hope they are taking on water too and slapping on some sun block or they might be out for the count by half-time...


    In this soggiest of summers, it was a rare pleasant evening when Qarabag visited Scotland last week but the sultry weather in Baku is a different story altogether. The good news for the travelling team is that the temperature has dipped significantly to a mere 30C and there is a gentle breeze.

  72. #bbcscotfootball

    BBC Scotland's Chris McLaughlin on Twitter: "Half an hour before kick off and already very noisy here. @BBCSportsound on air shortly #Celtic v #Qarabag"

    Qarabag v Celtic
  73. Post update

    Stevie MacKinnon

    The man tasked with sorting out the scorched grass at the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium is none other than Scotsman Stevie MacKinnon.

    The former head groundsman at Hamilton Accies was brought in after a shoddy re-turfing job following the recent European Games.

  74. Post update

    BBC Radio Scotland coverage will begin at 17:00. Former Celtic goalie Pat Bonner joins commentator Liam McLeod on a balmy night in Baku.

  75. Post update

    The recent Azerbaijani heat wave led to concerns about the state of the pitch at the Tofiq Bahramov Stadium. However, Celtic trained on it last night and manager Ronny Deila was not overly concerned.

    "It is not a perfect pitch of course," said the Norwegian. "But we are used to playing on those types of pitches in Scotland in the winter so we have to make the best of the situation.

    "This is how it is in football, sometimes you have different conditions and you have to handle that."


    Celtic: Gordon; Lustig, Boyata, Van Dijk, Izaguirre; Brown, Bitton; Mackay-Steven, Johansen, Armstrong; Ciftci. Subs: Ambrose, Griffiths, Commons, Rogic, Janko, Bailly, Forrest.

    Nadir Ciftci, who started a a six-game domestic suspension at the weekend, will lead the Celtic attack. The Turk has yet to find the net in three European ties since his move from Dundee United.

    Midfielder Nir Bitton has recovered from ankle injury after sitting out Saturday's 2-0 win over Ross County. Charlie Mulgrew did not travel as he recovers from a knee problem.

  77. Post update

    Dedryk Boyata

    Celtic take a 1-0 lead to Baku for this afternoon's Champions League qualifier against Qarabag, with a place in the play-off round up for grabs. Dedryk Boyata grabbed a vital late goal in Glasgow to give the visitors a slender advantage.