Champions League Qualifying - 1st Leg
CelticCeltic5FC AstanaFC Astana0

Celtic 5-0 FC Astana

By Richard WilsonBBC Scotland at Celtic Park
Scott Sinclair celebrates
Scott Sinclair slotted home Celtic's second goal of the night

Celtic all but booked their Champions League group stage berth by thumping Kazakh champions Astana in the play-off first leg.

Tom Rogic created the opener when he drove into the box and lifted a ball into the area that Evgeni Postnikov could only divert into his own net.

Sinclair raced clear to add the second and doubled his tally after the break.

James Forrest fired the fourth before Leigh Griffiths' shot deflected in off Igor Shitov for number five.

The sides meet again on Tuesday in Kazakhstan for the second leg, which now looks a formality for the Scottish champions, who knocked Astana out of the competition in the third qualifying round last term.

Postnikov own goal
Rogic knocked the ball into the danger area and Postnikov sent it into his own net for Celtic's opening goal

Fortune favoured Celtic at critical moments in this one, but it was a measure of the ruthless instincts of Brendan Rodgers' side that they took full advantage.

Astana set up to try to thwart the home side, who found it tough to pass through a packed midfield and defence in the opening stages.

Forrest and Kieran Tierney - playing very high and wide to try to stretch the game and allow Sinclair to play infield and closer to Griffiths - provided a couple of dangerous crosses, but Celtic needed to be patient.

They were rewarded when Rogic, who was casually effective, showed quick feet to carry the ball past two defenders and into the penalty area. He clipped it across goal, where Astana centre-back Postnikov lunged to clear but fired the ball into the empty net.

The goal bolstered Celtic, but they still had to survive a scare when Postnikov powerfully headed Serikzhan Muzhikov's corner wide from a central area.

Scott Sinclair scores
Sinclair produced a composed run and finish to double Celtic's tally

The home side were not to be swayed, though, and when a tackle deep inside Astana's half inadvertently sent the ball beyond the visitors' defence, Sinclair ran through from an offside position and expertly steered the ball beyond goalkeeper Aleksandr Mokin.

Astana had been disciplined for the opening part of the first half, but Celtic's advantage scrambled their senses after the break. They might have griped that when Rogic and Yuri Logvinenko clashed heads just inside the Astana half play should have stopped. The referee played advantage, since it had been a foul against the Celtic midfielder, and Griffiths combined with Sinclair for the latter to drill home a third goal.

Rogic and Yuri Logvinenko were substituted, with the Astana man having his head bandaged before he was booked and replaced. Celtic were in full command by then.

In the build-up to the game the focus had been on whether or not Griffiths would be fit enough to lead the line and provide Celtic's goal threat. He sliced wide when sent through on goal, but his impact on the first leg was one of creativity. Having played a vital role in Sinclair's second, he set up the fourth goal of the night for Forrest by shrewdly holding on to the ball before playing it into the winger's path.

James Forrest makes it 4-0
Forrest drilled the ball beyond Mokin to make it 4-0 to Celtic

As with all three earlier strikes, Forrest punished the meek goalkeeping of Mokin, lashing the ball past him and into the far corner.

Griffiths could not be contained and his shot was directed into the net by Shitov to round of the evening's scoring.

Astana have an excellent record at home, but this tie is beyond them now. Celtic showed their cutting edge, but they also have the experience and game management to complete their progress into the group stage of the Champions League.



Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Gordon
  • 23Lustig
  • 5Simunovic
  • 6Bitton
  • 63TierneyBooked at 49mins
  • 21Ntcham
  • 8BrownBooked at 40mins
  • 49ForrestSubstituted forS Armstrongat 82'minutes
  • 18RogicSubstituted forMcGregorat 63'minutes
  • 11Sinclair
  • 9Griffiths


  • 14S Armstrong
  • 24de Vries
  • 26Benyu
  • 35Ajer
  • 42McGregor
  • 56Ralston
  • 59Miller

FC Astana

Formation 4-4-1-1

  • 35Mokin
  • 4ShitovBooked at 69mins
  • 44PostnikovBooked at 6mins
  • 27LogvinenkoBooked at 63minsSubstituted forBeysebekovat 66'minutes
  • 77Shomko
  • 23Twumasi
  • 6Kleinheisler
  • 18Maevski
  • 14TomasovSubstituted forMurtazaevat 77'minutes
  • 7MuzhikovSubstituted forGrahovacat 82'minutes
  • 30Kabananga


  • 1Eric
  • 5Anicic
  • 8Grahovac
  • 15Beysebekov
  • 17Tagybergen
  • 25Maliy
  • 45Murtazaev
Ovidiu Hategan

Match Stats

Home TeamCelticAway TeamFC Astana
Shots on Target

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Celtic 5, FC Astana 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Celtic 5, FC Astana 0.

  3. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Evgeny Postnikov.

  4. Post update

    Offside, FC Astana. Ivan Maevski tries a through ball, but Roman Murtazaev is caught offside.

  5. Post update

    Foul by Olivier Ntcham (Celtic).

  6. Post update

    László Kleinheisler (FC Astana) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  7. Post update

    Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Celtic).

  8. Post update

    László Kleinheisler (FC Astana) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Corner, Celtic. Conceded by Evgeny Postnikov.

  10. Post update

    Attempt saved. Roman Murtazaev (FC Astana) right footed shot from more than 35 yards is saved in the top centre of the goal.

  11. Goal!

    Own Goal by Igor Shitov, FC Astana. Celtic 5, FC Astana 0.

  12. Post update

    Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Stuart Armstrong.

  13. Post update

    Olivier Ntcham (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Srdjan Grahovac (FC Astana).

  15. Substitution

    Substitution, Celtic. Stuart Armstrong replaces James Forrest.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, FC Astana. Srdjan Grahovac replaces Serikzhan Muzhikov.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Celtic 4, FC Astana 0. James Forrest (Celtic) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Leigh Griffiths.

  18. Post update

    Attempt missed. Dmitriy Shomko (FC Astana) left footed shot from more than 35 yards is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Ivan Maevski.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, FC Astana. Roman Murtazaev replaces Marin Tomasov.

  20. Post update

    Scott Sinclair (Celtic) wins a free kick on the left wing.


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