Match ends, Celtic 3, Lincoln Red Imps FC 0.
Champions League qualifying: Celtic 3-0 Lincoln Red Imps (agg 3-1)
Celtic made short work of Gibraltarian part-timers Lincoln Red Imps to book a Champions League third qualifying round tie with Astana of Kazakhstan.
Three goals in six first-half minutes swiftly overturned the 1-0 deficit from last week's shock first-leg result.
Mikael Lustig swivelled to notch the opener before Leigh Griffiths cut inside to lash home the second.
Patrick Roberts swept home a fine third but Moussa Dembele and Griffiths, twice, missed further good chances.
But that impressive first-half performance was enough to get the job done and settle any lingering nerves.
New Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers was desperate to exorcise the ghost of Gibraltar and almost 50,000 fans packed into Celtic Park expecting his side to do just that.
A repeat of the sensational shock on the Rock was simply unthinkable.
The evening started with the unfurling of the SPFL Premiership league title flag but as the cheers died down, last season was forgotten and attention turned to Champions League progression.
As expected, Celtic came out swinging from the start and looked very much in the mood, roared on by the home support.
The part-timers held out for 23 minutes, Stuart Armstrong seeing a shot saved and Callum McGregor's deflected effort hitting the bar.
But two quick-fire goals from Lustig and Griffiths settled nerves and put Celtic in command of the tie.
The Swedish international curled in a left-footed shot from around 10 yards before Griffiths - scorer of 40 goals last season - opened his account for this campaign with an impressive strike from the edge of the box after being played in by the impressive Roberts.
Minutes later, after sumptuous build-up play and a one-two with McGregor, the on-loan winger floated in from the right and fired in a fantastic third.
Lincoln's first-leg hero Lee Casciaro raised a few eyebrows early in the second half when he caught Erik Sviatchenko napping and stabbed the ball just past Craig Gordon's right-hand post.
The visitors were enjoying a little more of the ball, but rarely threatened to create further chances.
Celtic's first-half pace and drive gave way to a more considered approach after the interval, but the fans urged them on desperate for more goals.
Raul Navas in the Lincoln goal was determined to keep it respectable though and he twice denied Dembele from close range, while Griffiths headed over an inviting ball from Lustig.
Rodgers shuffled his pack, bringing on Kristoffer Ajer, Emillio Izaguirre and later Nadir Ciftci as the tempo slowed.
Navas was at it again with five minutes left, this time frustrating Griffiths, who should have scored from eight yards out when through on the keeper.
If victory was perhaps not enough to erase the painful memory of the first-leg defeat, it was sufficient to take them comfortably through.
And for Rodgers, that will do just fine.
- 10DembeleSubstituted forCiftciat 76'minutes
- 63TierneySubstituted forAjerat 60'minutes
- 49ForrestSubstituted forIzaguirreat 63'minutes
Lincoln Red Imps FC
- 1Navas Paul
- 7CasciaroSubstituted forCabreraat 90'minutes
- 3ChipolinaBooked at 23mins
- 5CasciaroBooked at 10mins
- 88WalkerSubstituted forAmaro Livramentoat 89'minutes
- 19Calderón VallejoSubstituted forBardonat 90'minutes
- 20Patiño Blasco
- 13Soler Ortuño
- 86Amaro Livramento
- Bartosz Frankowski
Second Half ends, Celtic 3, Lincoln Red Imps FC 0.
Substitution, Lincoln Red Imps FC. George Cabrera replaces Lee Casciaro.
Substitution, Lincoln Red Imps FC. Anthony Bardon replaces Antonio Calderón.
Substitution, Lincoln Red Imps FC. Fernando Livramento replaces Liam Walker.
Substitution, Celtic. Nadir Ciftci replaces Moussa Dembele.
Substitution, Celtic. Emilio Izaguirre replaces James Forrest.
Substitution, Celtic. Kristoffer Ajer replaces Kieran Tierney.
Second Half begins Celtic 3, Lincoln Red Imps FC 0.
First Half ends, Celtic 3, Lincoln Red Imps FC 0.
Goal! Celtic 3, Lincoln Red Imps FC 0. Patrick Roberts (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner.
Goal! Celtic 2, Lincoln Red Imps FC 0. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner.
Goal! Celtic 1, Lincoln Red Imps FC 0. Mikael Lustig (Celtic) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner following a set piece situation.
Joseph Chipolina (Lincoln Red Imps FC) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Ryan Casciaro (Lincoln Red Imps FC) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
First Half begins.
Lineups are announced and players are warming up.