Champions League: Charlie Nicholas on Celtic's win over Shakhtyor Karagandy
Charlie Nicholas hails a special night at Parkhead as Celtic reach the Champions League group stage.
Last Updated: 29/08/13 10:53am
Jamie Forrest scored in injury-time to complete a 3-0 win over Shakhtyor Karagandy, which gave Celtic a 3-2 aggregate victory after losing the first leg 2-0.
"At Celtic Park on European nights there is always a story to be told and it is usually a telling one for the club," he told Sky Sports. "It meant everything to them. You could see the celebration at the end. To come back and steal it - well, not even steal it because they deserved to win.
"At one stage in the last five minutes I actually thought they were running on empty. They looked absolutely exhausted and then they scored the winner."
With their side trailing 2-0 from the first leg, the Celtic fans had to wait until first-half injury time for their side to open the scoring, with Kris Commons fired home a fantastic left-foot effort from long range to give hosts hope.
Georgios Samaras grabbed a second three minutes after the break to level the tie but it was until second-half injury time that Celtic could celebrate joining Europe's elite in the Champions League group stage draw.
"Commons was the star turn," Nicholas said. "Samaras wasn't going anywhere - he wants to run with it when he should pass and move - but Commons has said, 'I can hit them from here'. And boy did he hit it, as sweet as you like. He has a beautiful left foot and that was a massive turning point."
With their place in the lucrative group stage now confirmed, Nicholas believes Celtic must now strengthen their squad for this season's domestic and European campaigns. And he says the money is there for Neil Lennon to bring in a couple of quality signings.
"It is important because you can tease an extra player or two because you are a Champions League team and they also did themselves proud last season," he said. "So they have a nice CV starting to build up, and so has Neil Lennon, but they have got to get their market.
"Celtic for too long have gone for £2m or £3m standard value players. Commons is the stick out but they need something a bit more to bring to the table.
"They can afford it, they have money. I'm not saying throw £50,000 or £60,000 a week at one player but if there is someone out there he (Lennon) fancies, he should go and get him. The crowd deserve it and they will back him."