Celtic reached the Champions League group stage for the first time in four years following a comfortable victory over Helsingborgs.

Ahead 2-0 from the first leg in Sweden, Celtic increased their advantage when Gary Hooper poked home on 30 minutes.

James Forrest slammed a shot against the post late in the second half.

Visiting keeper Par Hansson made a good double save to deny Scott Brown and Tony Watt but could not keep out Victor Wanyama's powerful header.

Celtic can now look forward with relish to Thursday's draw and more Champions League nights to savour.

Celtic Park rocked to the sound of a boisterous crowd, revelling in their return to the biggest stage of all in club football.

Manager Neil Lennon had stressed to anyone who cared to listen since the full-time whistle in Sweden a week ago that getting there was far from a formality.

And Helsingborgs looked lively in the opening stages, enjoying plenty of attacking possession.

But a wayward Alejandro Bedoya shot was as close as they came to troubling goalkeeper Fraser Forster in the first 15 minutes.

Georgios Samaras almost put the tie to bed just after the 20-minute mark. The Greek forward brushed aside two defenders as he burst down the left, but his attempt to curl the ball in at the far post instead nestled comfortably in Hansson's grasp.

That seemed to spark Celtic into life and the crowd claimed vociferously for a penalty as Forrest's mazy run ended with the winger tumbling under Joseph Baffo's challenge, but play was allowed to continue.

Moments later a Samaras cross had to be turned over the bar by Hansson, and from the corner Celtic moved in front.

The ball fell to Brown on the edge of the box, his miscued shot landed at the feet of Samaras, who tapped it into the path of Hooper and his shot squirmed in off the post as the visitors claimed desperately and unsuccessfully for offside.

There were fully 51 minutes on the clock before Forster was forced to make a save, but it was a good one when it came.

Jere Uronen rifled a 30-yard free kick goalwards, but the keeper pushed it round his left-hand post for a corner.

Another fine chance fell Helsingborgs' way shortly afterwards, but Nikola Djurdic shot tamely into the side-netting before Forster required two attempts to gather a fierce drive from May Mahlangu.

The second half had begun much like the first, with Celtic seemingly content to allow the Swedes lots of possession, the difference being the visitors were now creating genuine chances.

They could, though, have found themselves down to 10 men after 62 minutes. David Accam, on the field for a matter of seconds as a substitute, crudely took Emilio Izaguirre out of the play but was shown leniency and just a yellow card by the Spanish referee Carlos Velasco Carballo.

Forrest was denied a superb goal by the upright of Hansson - the winger's sweet strike rattling back into the path of Hooper, who was wrongly flagged for offside, though he only hit the other post in any event.

Another thrilling move started by Forrest ended with Brown and then substitute Watt being denied by good stops from Hansson.

But that only delayed the second goal momentarily, as Wanyama rose to head past the keeper from the corner that followed.

It rounded off another highly professional job by Lennon's side, who can now begin to contemplate what lies in store.

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (6)

Celtic

  • 01 Forster
  • 02 Matthews Booked (Lustig - 76' )
  • 03 Izaguirre
  • 06 Wilson Booked
  • 21 Mulgrew
  • 08 Brown
  • 15 Commons
  • 49 Forrest
  • 67 Wanyama
  • 09 Samaras (Watt - 69' )
  • 88 Hooper (McCourt - 90' )

Substitutes

  • 24 Zaluska
  • 23 Lustig
  • 25 Rogne
  • 20 McCourt
  • 56 Twardzik
  • 27 Murphy
  • 32 Watt

Helsingborgs

  • 30 Hansson
  • 04 Atta (Nordmark - 81' )
  • 16 Baffo
  • 21 Andersson
  • 23 Wahlstedt (Lindstrom - 75' )
  • 28 Uronen
  • 06 Mahlangu
  • 08 Gashi
  • 20 Bedoya
  • 11 Sorum (Accam - 61' Booked )
  • 18 Djurdjic Booked

Substitutes

  • 01 Andersson
  • 15 Krafth
  • 05 Nordmark
  • 07 Lindstrom
  • 25 Accam
  • 10 Dos Santos
  • 13 Bouaouzan
Ref: Carlos Velasco Carballo
Att: 51,566

Match Stats

Shots

10 11

On target

7 5

Corners

4 7

Fouls

9 10

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:15 Full time

Full Time The referee ends the match.

90:00 +2:40

Shot on goal by James Forrest from just inside the area goes over the target.

90:00 +2:12

Kris Commons is caught offside. Par Hansson restarts play with the free kick.

89:07 Substitution

Substitution (Celtic) makes a substitution, with Patrick McCourt coming on for Gary Hooper.

89:07

Corner taken right-footed by Christoffer Andersson from the left by-line, Kelvin Wilson manages to make a clearance. Effort from the edge of the penalty box by Jere Uronen goes wide of the right-hand upright.

87:45

Assist by Kris Commons.

87:45 Goal scored

Goal! - Victor Wanyama - Celtic 2 - 0 Hel'borgs Victor Wanyama scores a headed goal from inside the box. Celtic 2 (4)-(0) 0 Helsingborgs IF.

87:05

Scott Brown takes a shot. Save by Par Hansson. Tony Watt takes a shot. Par Hansson makes a save. Short corner taken by Kris Commons.

86:25

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Scott Brown by Ardian Gashi. Free kick taken by Kelvin Wilson.

84:14

Daniel Nordmark has a direct shot on goal from the free kick.

84:14 Booking

Booking The referee books Nikola Djurdjic for dissent.

83:51 Booking

Booking Kelvin Wilson is booked.

83:43

Kelvin Wilson challenges May Mahlangu unfairly and gives away a free kick.

83:07

Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tony Watt by Ardian Gashi. Direct free kick taken by James Forrest.

82:02

Shot by Alejandro Bedoya. Save by Fraser Forster.

81:37

The assistant referee signals for offside against Gary Hooper. Indirect free kick taken by Par Hansson.

81:10

Christoffer Andersson takes the inswinging corner, save by Fraser Forster.

80:57

Charlie Mulgrew gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Nikola Djurdjic. Jere Uronen takes the direct free kick.

79:53

Free kick taken by Par Hansson.

79:53 Substitution

Substitution (Helsingborgs IF) makes a substitution, with Daniel Nordmark coming on for Walid Atta.

79:53

Effort from just outside the area by James Forrest strikes the post. Gary Hooper is flagged offside by the assistant referee.

79:09

Tony Watt takes a shot. Comfortable save by Par Hansson.

77:10

Alejandro Bedoya gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on James Forrest. James Forrest takes the direct free kick. Mattias Lindstrom gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kris Commons. Kris Commons takes the direct free kick.

75:35

Free kick taken by Kris Commons.

75:35 Substitution

Substitution Mikael Lustig on for Adam Matthews.

75:35

May Mahlangu challenges Tony Watt unfairly and gives away a free kick.

74:03 Substitution

Substitution Mattias Lindstrom joins the action as a substitute, replacing Erik Wahlstedt.

74:03

The ball is crossed by Tony Watt.

70:18

Christoffer Andersson takes a shot. Kelvin Wilson gets a block in. Christoffer Andersson takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, Victor Wanyama makes a clearance.

68:52 Substitution

Substitution Tony Watt comes on in place of Georgios Samaras.

67:05

Georgios Samaras is penalised for a handball. Joseph Baffo restarts play with the free kick. Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on David Accam by Emilio Izaguirre. Joseph Baffo takes the direct free kick.

66:03

David Accam challenges Georgios Samaras unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Kris Commons.

64:56

Ardian Gashi gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Kris Commons. Kris Commons restarts play with the free kick.

62:01

Charlie Mulgrew takes the direct free kick.

62:01 Booking

Booking David Accam shown a yellow card.

61:57

Emilio Izaguirre fouled by David Accam, the ref awards a free kick.

60:54 Substitution

Substitution David Accam joins the action as a substitute, replacing Thomas Sorum.

58:20

The referee blows for offside against Thomas Sorum. Fraser Forster takes the free kick.

55:31

May Mahlangu takes the chance to get an effort at goal. Comfortable save by Fraser Forster.

55:03

Scott Brown challenges Thomas Sorum unfairly and gives away a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Ardian Gashi.

53:14

Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Christoffer Andersson from the left by-line, clearance made by Kelvin Wilson. Nikola Djurdjic has an effort at goal from close in which goes wide of the left-hand upright.

49:48

Foul by Emilio Izaguirre on Nikola Djurdjic, free kick awarded. Jere Uronen shoots direct from the free kick, Fraser Forster makes a brilliant save. Corner taken by Jere Uronen from the right by-line to the near post, Header by Nikola Djurdjic from deep inside the penalty area misses to the left of the target.

48:23

Georgios Samaras produces a cross.

46:14

Ardian Gashi concedes a free kick for a foul on Kris Commons. Charlie Mulgrew takes the free kick.

45:17

The referee blows for offside against Thomas Sorum. Indirect free kick taken by Fraser Forster.

45:01

The referee starts the second half.

45:00 +1:08 Half time

Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.

44:26

Strike comes in from Christoffer Andersson from the free kick, Scott Brown makes a clearance.

44:26 Booking

Booking The referee cautions Adam Matthews for unsporting behaviour.

44:21

Adam Matthews gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Christoffer Andersson.

43:13

Jere Uronen takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line played to the near post, Scott Brown makes a clearance.

39:41

Georgios Samaras is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Par Hansson restarts play with the free kick.

38:28

Scott Brown fouled by Ardian Gashi, the ref awards a free kick. Charlie Mulgrew restarts play with the free kick.

36:27

Kris Commons takes a outswinging corner. Victor Wanyama takes a shot. Blocked by Joseph Baffo.

34:21

The offside flag is raised against Kris Commons. Loret Sadiku takes the indirect free kick.

32:56

Free kick awarded for a foul by Victor Wanyama on May Mahlangu. Free kick crossed by Jere Uronen.

30:41

Kris Commons takes the outswinging corner, Joseph Baffo manages to make a clearance.

29:07

The assist for the goal came from Georgios Samaras.

29:07 Goal scored

Goal! - Gary Hooper - Celtic 1 - 0 Hel'borgs Gary Hooper scores a goal from close range to the bottom left corner of the goal. Celtic 1 (3)-(0) 0 Helsingborgs IF.

28:34

The ball is delivered by Georgios Samaras, save made by Par Hansson. Short corner worked by Kris Commons.

27:28

Emilio Izaguirre crosses the ball, Walid Atta makes a clearance.

24:54

Free kick awarded for a foul by Kelvin Wilson on Nikola Djurdjic. Jere Uronen takes the direct free kick.

23:50

Georgios Samaras challenges May Mahlangu unfairly and gives away a free kick. Par Hansson takes the direct free kick. Handball by Nikola Djurdjic. Fraser Forster takes the direct free kick.

22:10

Kris Commons sends in a cross, Joseph Baffo manages to make a clearance.

20:10

Georgios Samaras takes a shot. Par Hansson makes a comfortable save.

14:59

Alejandro Bedoya has an effort at goal from just outside the box which goes wide of the right-hand post.

11:45

Effort from outside the penalty box by Nikola Djurdjic goes wide left of the goal.

8:46

Christoffer Andersson takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Scott Brown.

8:15

Christoffer Andersson delivers the ball, Charlie Mulgrew makes a clearance.

2:55

Shot from just outside the area by Scott Brown goes over the bar.

0:00

The match begins.

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