Goals from Odsonne Edouard, James Forrest and a late finish from Callum McGregor gave Celtic an important and comprehensive win in a tricky encounter against Alashkert in the first qualifying round of Champions League.
Spectators saw a fairly tight first half in the sweltering heat of Yerevan. The hosts looked to sit back as the Scottish champions dominated the possession and looked to break down the Alashkert backline.
The main threat for Alashkert came on the break as their striker Uros Nenadovic looked to test his pace against Kristoffer Ajer and Jozo Simunovic.
Moussa Dembele and Callum McGregor came closest to opening the scoring. Dembele had a shot saved while McGregor flashed a shot just wide from inside the box.
A few misplaced passes from Olivier Ntcham and others in the midfield made it difficult for the away side to keep up any real sustained pressure.
However, as things looked to be going into half-time level, Celtic’s record signing struck. The ball fell to James Forrest in the box who fluffed his lines but straight to Odsonne Edouard, who calmly guided a low shot past the keeper for 1-0 and that all-important away goal.
In the second half, Artak Edigaryan’s dipping effort drew Craig Gordon into a decent save but Alashkert struggled to find a way to goal.
Eboue Kouassi, Scott Sinclair and Lewis Morgan all featured off the bench as the game drew on and as Celtic looked more and more comfortable.
After pinball in the box, it eventually came to James Forrest who confidently side-footed the ball home to give Celtic a two-goal cushion.
With just minutes left on the clock, Callum McGregor wrapped things up in style with a low shot rifled into the bottom corner.
Check out our player ratings from this evening’s 3-0 victory.