There was no surprise at Solitude as Celtic FC eased to a comfortable victory over Cliftonville FC in the first leg of their UEFA Champions League second qualifying round tie.
Mikael Lustig, Giorgos Samaras and James Forrest scored the goals for Neil Lennon's side, who reached the last 16 last season and will expect to cement their progress back at Celtic Park next Tuesday.
For Celtic, it was a short journey across the Irish Sea to Belfast and they were fast into their stride against the Northern Irish champions, Kris Commons heading against the crossbar after three minutes. It was Commons whose corner led to the opening goal, headed in by Lustig after 25 minutes, and he was involved in the second again soon after, teeing up Samaras who turned and beat Conor Devlin with an excellent strike into the top corner.
Commons almost had a goal himself just before the break when he struck the woodwork for the second time, this time with a curling shot. At that point, Tommy Breslin's hosts had barely threatened and it took them until the 61st minute to go close, with Mark Smyth thwarted by a brilliant block by Kelvin Wilson.
Unfortunately for the underdogs and their home crowd, normal service was soon resumed. Anthony Stokes hit the bar with a powerful shot before, with six minutes remaining, Forrest wrapped up Celtic's victory, riding a couple of challenges and sending a fine shot past Devlin.
Celtic manager Lennon said: "I'm delighted with the performance and the attitude of the team. It was a very special occasion and I couldn't have asked for any more. The team came and played very well."
His Cliftonville counterpart, Breslin, said: "The players weren't overawed. It's just at this level of football if you give the ball away you'll get punished. We'll go to Celtic Park, enjoy the occasion and work hard."
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