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UEFA Champions League

  • 29 August 2012
  • • 19:45
  • • Celtic Park, Glasgow
  • Referee: Carlos Velasco Carballo
  • • Attendance: 51566
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FT
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Celtic win Aggregate 4 - 0

Celtic 2-0 Helsingborgs (Agg 4-0): Hooper & Wanyama strikes seal Champions League return

Celtic 2-0 Helsingborgs (Agg 4-0): Hooper & Wanyama strikes seal Champions League return

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The Hoops sealed progression into the group stages of Europe's premier cup competition for the first time in four years with a comfortable victory over their Swedish opponents

Goals from Gary Hooper and Victor Wanyama helped Celtic claim a place in the Champions League group stage as the expense of Helsingborgs.

Coming into the game with a two-goal lead from the first leg, the Scottish champions rarely looked threatened as they booked their place in Thursday's money-spinning draw.

Celtic boss Neil Lennon was able to welcome back experienced figures such as Georgios Samaras, Kris Commons and Scott Brown, as well as young winger James Forrest, who all missed the weekend win against Inverness.

The crowd at Celtic Park were warmed up by singer Susan Boyle, who provided a rendition of 'You’ll Never Walk Alone' before the start of the game, but rather than the hosts using the atmosphere to push home and kill the game off, it was Helsingborgs who had the early play.

Christoffer Andersson was dangerous down the left-hand side for the visitors as he played two crosses into the Celtic penalty area within the first ten minutes, but on both occasions the home defence cleared before any shot on target.

The visitors then had a good chance to take the lead as Nikola Djurdjic got onto a Thomas Sorum knockdown, but the striker put his effort well wide of goal.

However, Celtic soon started to get back into the game, with Samaras and Forrest terrorising the visiting defence but both failing to find find a way towards goal.

The home fans were on their feet claiming for a penalty as Forrest ran in from the right wing and looked to have been tripped by Joseph Baffo, but instead of pointing towards the spot, the referee shouted for Forrest to get to his feet.

Those fans were off their seats once again minutes later, as Commons played a short corner to Forrest and his cross was cleared only as far as Brown. The midfielder calmly found Samaras six yards out, who passed for Hooper to tap home, despite the visitors claiming offside.

Lennon’s side were in full control for the reminder of the half, with Celtic Park in buoyant mood as their side held a three-goal advantage going into the brea.

Helsingborgs came out for the second half with purpose and were nearly rewarded as Jere Uronen unleashed a superb long-range free-kick which Forster had to get down well to clear.

They continued to push forward, minutes later getting another corner, which Andersson swung in from the left wing, eventually finding Djurdjic, but his strike could only find the side-netting of Forster’s goal.

The visitors could have been down to ten men just after the hour mark, as David Accam, who had been on the park for less than a minute after replacing Sorum, made a poor challenge on Emilio Izaguirre, but fortunately for the substitute he was only shown a yellow card.

Substitute Tony Watt came on to light up Celtic Park for the reminder of the game, as he danced with the ball down the left and put in a superb cross for Hooper to get onto, but the striker had failed to make the run to knock the simple chance home.

Celtic should have wrapped up the game with a second goal as Forrest took the ball from the right wing into the middle and from the edge of the area unleashed a shot which cannoned off of the post.

However, with just over two minutes left, Celtic got their reward as Wanyama rose highest to power a header from a Commons corner into the net.

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