Chris Sutton and John Hartson react on Twitter to Celtic's Champions League win over Astana

Celtic's Callum McGregor, Scott Brown and Kieran Tierney celebrate at the end of the match with fans

Celtic moved a step closer to the Champions League group stage after a 2-1 home win over Astana on Wednesday evening.

Celtic manager Brendan RodgersCeltic manager Brendan Rodgers

Celtic snaked a late win over Astana on Wednesday to put them within 180 minutes of the Champions League group stage.

The Bhoys had drawn 1-1 in Kazakhstan last week, and when Leigh Griffiths put Celtic in front with a penalty on Wednesday evening, it seemed that Brendan Rodgers' side were heading through to the next round of the Champions League qualifiers.

Celtic's Callum McGregor, Scott Brown and Kieran Tierney celebrate at the end of the match with fansCeltic's Callum McGregor, Scott Brown and Kieran Tierney celebrate at the end of the match with fans

However, Agim Ibraimi's equaliser drew Astana level, and the game was heading into extra time before Moussa Dembele was felled inside the area. Igor Shitov and Dmitri Shomko both saw red cards, but Dembele kept his cool to score from the spot and grab his first Celtic goal.

It wasn't pretty, but Celtic did what they had to do - and are now just two games away from reaching the Champions League group stage for the first time since 2013.

Celtic's Leigh Grifiths celebrates at the end of the matchCeltic's Leigh Grifiths celebrates at the end of the match

The result was just what Brendan Rodgers needed, and after two failed Champions League qualifying campaigns under Ronny Deila, Rodgers already looks like one-upping the Norwegian.

After the game, former Celtic players Adam Virgo, Chris Sutton and John Hartson all took to Twitter to give their thoughts on the result and performance.

Celtic's Moussa Dembele celebrates after scoring their second goal from the penalty spotCeltic's Moussa Dembele celebrates after scoring their second goal from the penalty spot

Sutton was delighted to see new signing Dembele get off the mark with his first goal, and suggested Rodgers has improved the club's mentality already - but Celtic still have some way to go.

Hartson was delighted to see Dembele show the nerve to step up for the injury-time penalty, and is hoping for a favourable draw in the final qualifying round for the group stage.

Finally, Virgo was ecstatic as Celtic managed to get the result they needed, and is happy to see the club close in on a return to the Champions League - which is where the former defender believes the Bhoys belong.

 

 

 

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