Celtic 3-0 Lincoln Red Imps: Hoops exact swift revenge to progress in Champions League
By Lyall Thomas
Last Updated: 23/07/16 11:41am
Mikael Lustig, Leigh Griffiths and Patrick Roberts scored the goals as Celtic exacted a 3-0 revenge on Lincoln Red Imps to progress to the Champions League third-qualifying round.
The trio scored within six first-half minutes of each other to settle the tie 3-1 on aggregate and book a clash with Kazakhstan side Astana.
The Gibraltarian side rocked Brendan Rodgers' team with a 1-0 win on their turf last week and the semi-professional side battled valiantly at Celtic Park.
Imps goalkeeper Raul Navas had a stormer despite conceding three, pulling off excellent saves in both halves to deny Griffiths and his frustrated strike partner Moussa Dembele, who remains without a goal since joining from Fulham.
Dembele's former Fulham team-mate Roberts, on loan from Manchester City, ran the show in the first half but Navas pulled off his first two saves to deny midfielders Stuart Armstrong and Callum McGregor.
Lustig, one of five changes to the side that lost on the Mediterranean coast last week, was needed to break the deadlock on 23 minutes, spinning to fire in Scott Brown's knockdown into the top corner.
Griffiths then smashed home the second three minutes later when he darted inside past two defenders and found the bottom corner.
Roberts grabbed a deserved goal of his own on 29 minutes when he also cut inside from the right and exchanged a neat one-two with McGregor before slotting into the far corner with his left foot.
Lee Casciaro - the Gibraltarian police officer who scored the winning goal against Celtic last week - had both his side's only real chances either side of the interval, launching an effort wide from distance before breaking onto a through-ball after the break and beating Craig Gordon with a shot slightly off-target.
A confident Griffiths forced a number of further, excellent saves from Navas and he also had the ball in the net from McGregor's flick-on, but it was ruled out for offside. Celtic did not need another goal, however, and must now look ahead to a long trip to Central Asia next week.