Champions League 3rd Qualifying Round Review
Having beaten Lithuanian side Zalgiris comfortably in the last round, Celtic drew Austrian outfit Rapid Wien in the next
Celtic drew possibly the toughest team in the draw, and would have to play well to beat them to progress to the Play-Off round, where teams such as Manchester United await them.
Champions League Qualifying Round 3 – First Leg
Celtic had to cancel their last pre-season friendly – a trip to Pescara – in order to play this game; not that they would mind – as the Scots came away with a 1-0 win. Celtic dominated the game, knocking on the door with regularity, with only Wien’s goalkeeper stopping them from finding the net. However, it only lasted until deep into the second half, with a set piece practised on the training ground being used to full effect – the corner being whipped in by Johansen found Mulgrew who knocked it down to Sisto, who hit it into the bottom corner on the half volley to give Celtic the away goal and the win to take into the second leg. However, Stuart Armstrong picked up an injury that would keep him out of the second leg, much to the displeasure of Ronny Deila.
Champions League Qualifying Round 3 – Second Leg
The first 30 seconds set the tone for the second leg of Celtic’s tie with Rapid Wien, with the Glaswegians nearly coming close to breaking the deadlock straight from the kick-off. The game had its first goal in the fifth minute, with a cross hitting Wien defender Schrammel and rolling past the keeper. Pione Sisto then added to the tally ten minutes later, before a penalty in stoppage time during the first half was netted by Leigh Griffiths. Lustig then got the fourth during the second half, netting the rebound from a freekick to give Celtic a comprehensive win, and making their place in the playoff round set in stone.
The draw for the Play-off round will occur in a few days’ time, with possible opponents that Celtic could face being Vardar of Macedonia, AS Trenchin of Slovakia, Maccabi Tel Aviv of Israel, Skenderbeu Korce of Albania or HJK of Finland.