Celtic claim huge first-leg advantage against FC Astana

Armstrong’s contract was due to expire at the end of the season

Armstrong’s contract was due to expire at the end of the seasonRUSSELL CHEYNE REUTERS

Celtic have claimed a resounding 5-0 advantage over FC Astana in the first leg of their Champions League qualifier against the Kazakhstani side at Parkhead.

Celtic's urgency to re-sign Roberts could lead to a decision being made as soon as today, with the player's future needing to be sorted.

Celtic have now gone five European games without conceding a goal and on the evidence of last...

Celtic were boosted when Griffiths declared himself free of an ongoing calf complaint and Rogic came back into the midfield, while midfielder Nir Bitton was again asked to play centre-back.

The Scottish Sun quotes Rodgers however, who told reporters after Saturday's win over Partick Thistle that although there is strong interest, the player will remain at Parkhead, explaining that; "I'm not anxious, but I wouldn't be surprised". The pleasing aspect is how the players coped with that - their calmness in possession, how we circulated the ball and how we opened up the spaces and exhausted Astana out. He has gone away on tour with them and got some game time.

"Last year it set us up on a great platform".

"It's much more hard than that - but I have always put trust in the players I have".

It's not Football Manager where if you lose one you can just pick one straight off the computer and put him straight in.

"He was such a key player for Celtic the longer the season went on and he would be a gamechanger for Celtic, especially at Champions League level, where they just maybe lack a little bit of creativity, all the wingers are the same".

Celtic had two excellent chances to take the lead in the opening seven minutes but both were spurned - Sinclair and Griffiths sending their efforts wide from in front of the goal.

The fourth goal was scored by James Forrest and an Igor Shitov goal completed the demolition exercise. It's an artificial surface, too, which doesn't bring the best out of Celtic.

Dries Mertens opened the scoring in the 13th minute.

Latest News