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No slip-up as clinical Celts skate past poor Icelanders

Celtic 6 KR Reykjavik 0


On their way: Celtic’s Mohamed Elyounoussi celebrates scoring his side’s first goal

On their way: Celtic’s Mohamed Elyounoussi celebrates scoring his side’s first goal


Christopher Jullien added the third

Christopher Jullien added the third

Getty Images

On their way: Celtic’s Mohamed Elyounoussi celebrates scoring his side’s first goal

Celtic routed KR Reykjavik 6-0 in a desperately one-sided Champions League first qualifying round clash at Parkhead.

In a one-legged tie played behind closed doors, Neil Lennon's side showed the Icelandic outfit no mercy.

Attacker Mohamed Elyounoussi broke the deadlock after only seven minutes and striker Odsonne Edouard pressured defender Arnor Adalsteinsson into an own goal before defender Christopher Jullien headed in a third just after the half-hour.

Left-back Greg Taylor helped himself to his first Celtic goal early in the second half and Edouard flashed in a fifth with Elyounoussi grabbing his second in added time.

KR Reykjavik boss Runar Kristinsson had hoped for an unlikely result equivalent to Iceland beating England at Euro 2016 but his side were simply fodder for the Hoops, who will host Hungarian side Ferencvaros or Djurgardens of Sweden in the second qualifier next week.

The hosts made two changes to the side that drew with Kilmarnock nine days prior, with defenders Nir Bitton and Hatem Abd Elhamed replacing Kristoffer Ajer and Jeremie Frimpong.

Albian Ajeti, the Swiss striker recently signed from West Ham, started on the bench where he watched his new team-mates quickly put the Icelandic champions under pressure.

Within minutes, keeper Beitir Olafsson had saved a close-range header from Edouard, following a cross from Taylor. However, the keeper looked less convincing when Jullien played a ball over the top and Elyounoussi smartly rounded him before netting.

Celtic were dominating. Edouard had another couple of attempts on goal before Adalsteinsson, fighting to prevent the Frenchman from getting on the end of an Elhamed cut-back, turned the ball into his own net.

Olafsson made further saves from Elyounoussi and James Forrest but when Jullien powered in a header from a Ryan Christie corner it looked ominous.

Olafsson kept out efforts from Christie and Elyounoussi, twice, and defender Kennie Chopart blocked an Edouard shot.

KR Reykjavik almost snatched a goal just before the interval when striker Kristjan Floki Finnbogason tested Hoops keeper Vasilis Barkas with a drive.

Celtic flexed their muscles again at the start of the second half and Taylor netted with a header from an Elhamed cross.

Kristinsson's side kept plugging away but in the 71st minute some neat footwork inside the box took Edouard past three defenders before a decisive finish and he and Christie were immediately replaced by debutant Ajeti and Patryk Klimala.

KR Reykjavik's Palmi Rafn Palmason had the ball in the net only for the offside flag to be correctly raised, on a chastening night which ended with Elyounoussi sliding in a sixth.

CELTIC: Barkas, Christie (Klimala, 73mins), Brown (Ntcham, 63mins), Taylor, Jullien, Edouard (Ajeti 73mins), Forrest, Elyounoussi, Bitton, Elhamed, McGregor.

Subs not used: Rogic, Bain, Frimpong, Ajer.

KR ReykjavIk: Olafsson, Chopart, Palmason, Kristinsson, Adalsteinsson, Jonsson (Sigurjonsson, 46mins), Punyed, Palmason, Margeirsson, Finnbogason (Jonasson, 73mins), Hauksson (Hilmarsson, 73mins).

Subs not used: Bernhardsson, Bjarnason, Sigurjonsson, Geirsson.

Man of the match: Elyounoussi

Match rating: 8/10

Referee: Sebastian Gishamer (Austria)


Belfast Telegraph