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Solid Celtic too strong for Helsingborg

Published: Tuesday 21 August 2012, 22.40CET
Helsingborgs IF 0-2 Celtic FC
Kris Commons and Giorgos Samaras scored in each half as the Scottish champions closed in on a first group stage appearance since 2008/09.
by Andrew Haslam
Solid Celtic too strong for Helsingborg
Kris Commons is mobbed after putting Celtic in front ©AFP/Getty Images

Match statistics

HelsingborgCeltic

Goals scored0
2
on target10
 
4
off target8
 
7
Corners6
 
3
Offsides0
2
Fouls committed19
 
13
Yellow cards2
 
3
Red Cards0
 
0
Possession (%)0
100

Standings

 
Published: Tuesday 21 August 2012, 22.40CET

Solid Celtic too strong for Helsingborg

Helsingborgs IF 0-2 Celtic FC
Kris Commons and Giorgos Samaras scored in each half as the Scottish champions closed in on a first group stage appearance since 2008/09.

A goal in each half from Kris Commons and Giorgos Samaras rewarded Celtic FC for a disciplined display at Helsingborgs IF as the Scottish title holders claimed a valuable advantage in their UEFA Champions League play-off tie.

Neil Lennon's side took the lead in the second minute thanks to Commons' volley and while Helsingborg had the better of the match thereafter, it took the woodwork to deny Joe Ledley's header and keep them in touch. The Swedish champions were undone again when Samaras nodded in a 75th-minute corner, however, giving Celtic a cushion to take into next week's return in Glasgow.

Bidding to reach the group stage for the first time in four seasons, Celtic could scarcely have made a better start. Commons was left unmarked at the far post to meet Samaras' deep left-wing cross and duly directed his volley beyond Pär Hansson for his third goal in four games.

Any thoughts of Celtic dominance were dashed as the home side responded positively. Midway through the first period Thomas Sørum broke clear of the defence and on to Christoffer Andersson's clever flick, but his prodded effort was beaten away by the advancing Fraser Forster.

The visitors' back line was sprung again just before the half-hour as May Mahlangu dispossessed Adam Matthews on the halfway line to bear down on Forster's goal, but the Celtic defender recovered to make a saving challenge.

While Helsingborg were struggling for an equaliser, it was Celtic who came closest to scoring again early in the second period as a clever corner created space for Ledley, whose looping header clipped the crossbar.

Helsingborg's only previous group stage campaign came in 2000/01 and their hopes of a repeat shrank further with 15 minutes left, a deep cross once more proving their undoing as Commons' inswinging corner was met by the head of Samaras. Though the Greek striker and James Forrest went close late on, and Charlie Mulgrew's effort was kept out by the bar, the Glasgow club are still on the verge of a group stage return.

Last updated: 23/08/12 0.04CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2013/matches/round=2000346/match=2009469/postmatch/report/index.html#celtic+helsingborg

Lineups

helsingborg

Helsingborg

celtic

Celtic

30
HanssonPär Hansson (GK) (C)
1
ForsterFraser Forster (GK)
Yellow Card34
3
SadikuLoret Sadiku
2
MatthewsAdam Matthews
4
AttaWalid Atta
3
IzaguirreEmilio Izaguirre
6
MahlanguMay Mahlangu
8
BrownScott Brown (C)
8
GashiArdian Gashi
Yellow Card54
9
SamarasGiorgios Samaras
Goal75
11
SørumThomas Sørum
Substitution65
15
CommonsKris Commons
Goal2
Substitution90
18
DjurdićNikola Djurdić
16
LedleyJoe Ledley
Substitution66
20
BedoyaAlejandro Bedoya
21
MulgrewCharlie Mulgrew
Yellow Card28
21
C. AnderssonChristoffer Andersson
25
RogneThomas Rogne
Yellow Card62
23
WahlstedtErik Wahlstedt
Substitution63
33
KayalBeram Kayal
Substitution46
28
UronenJere Uronen
88
HooperGary Hooper

Substitutes

1
D. AnderssonDaniel Andersson (GK)
24
ZałuskaŁukasz Załuska (GK)
5
NordmarkDaniel Nordmark
6
WilsonKelvin Wilson
Substitution66
10
ÁlvaroÁlvaro
Substitution65
Yellow Card89
20
McCourtPaddy McCourt
13
BouaouzanRachid Bouaouzan
23
LustigMikael Lustig
15
KrafthEmil Krafth
32
WattTony Watt
Substitution90
16
BaffoJoseph Baffo
43
ChalmersJoe Chalmers
25
AccamDavid Accam
Substitution63
49
ForrestJames Forrest
Substitution46

Coach

Åge Hareide (NOR) Neil Lennon (NIR)

Referee

Olegário Benquerença (POR)

Assistant referees

Bertino Miranda (POR), João Santos (POR)

Fourth official

Ricardo Santos (POR)

Additional assistant referees

Artur Dias (POR), Carlos Xistra (POR)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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