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Nir Bitton thrilled to march on but Ronny Deila keen to see more

By Staff Reporter

Nir Bitton is hoping Celtic will continue to make progress after surviving a scare against part-time Icelandic side Stjarnan before advancing into the Champions League third qualifying round.

The Hoops travelled to the tiny Samsungvollur stadium with a 2-0 advantage from last week's first leg in Glasgow but found themselves under some unexpected pressure after only six minutes when Olafur Karl Finsen shot the home side into a shock lead.

However, Bitton calmed the nerves when he levelled in the 32nd minute from a Stefan Johansen corner and further goals from defender Charlie Mulgrew, substitute Leigh Griffiths and Johansen made it 4-1 to see the Scottish champions through 6-1 on aggregate.

Israel international Bitton said: "I think everybody was worried. We didn't want to start the game like that and concede a goal after six minutes, it wasn't the game plan but sometimes you need to deal with that kind of thing.

"The most important thing is that we go through to the next round and we want to continue. I am really happy, not because of my goal but because we won. My goal was a bonus.''

Ronny Deila's side now play Qarabag, with the first game at Celtic Park next week, and are sure to be tested to a greater degree against the Azerbaijan outfit who came through their tie against Montenegro's Rudar Pljevlja.

The Norwegian boss said: "We need to improve. They are a good team. I saw them play the first leg against the team from Montenegro and it is a big step up."

Belfast Telegraph


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