Scott Sinclair scored twice as Celtic eased to a 5-0 victory over Astana.

Champions League Review: Celtic and Liverpool have one foot in tournament proper
Published: August 17, 2017

Celtic have one foot in the Champions League proper after they put Astana to the sword with a ruthless 5-0 win at Parkhead on Wednesday evening.


Yevgeny Postnikov turned Tom Rogic's shot into his own net before Scott Sinclair doubled the lead to give Celtic a 2-0 lead over the Kazakhstani champions going in at the break.


A second from Sinclair and James Forrest added to the lead before Leigh Griffiths' shot went in off Astana defender Igor Shitov to all but guarantee the Scottish champions passage.


Olympiacos also left it late to snatch a 2-1 home win over Croatian side Rijeka in Athens, Alaixys Romao scoring the winner in the third minute of injury time.


Heber had given the visitors a first-half lead but Olympiacos struck back through Vadis Odjidja. Leonardo Zuta was sent off late on for Rijeka and it cost them with Romao's late show.


Hapoel Be'er Sheva fought back from a goal down to beat Slovenian champions NK Maribor 2-1 at home.


Marcos Tavares opened the scoring for Maribor on ten minutes but Anthony Nwakaeme equalised within two minutes before Shir Tzedek scored from the penalty spot in first-half injury time.


APOEL made light work of Czech champions Slavia Praha with goals in the first ten minutes from Igor De Camarco and Efstathios Aloneftis leading them to a simple 2-0 win.


And Qarabag will take a 1-0 lead to Denmark after Mahir Madatov's first-half goal settled their first-leg tie with FC Kobenhavn.


On the non-champions route, Liverpool will be confident of progression after they earned a 2-1 victory on the road against German side TSG 1890 Hoffenheim.


Trent Alexander-Arnold and James Milner scored in either half after Andrej Kramaric had missed an early penalty. Mark Uth pulled one back for Hoffenheim late on to keep the tie alive.


Sevilla will also feel they have half the job done after travelled to Istanbul and emerged 2-1 winners over Basaksehir thanks to Wissam Ben Yedder's late strike.


The Turks, who boast former Arsenal pair Gael Cllichy and Emmanuel Adebayor in their ranks, equalised just after the hour thanks to Eljero Elia after Sergio Escudero opened the scoring early on.


Goals in either half from Belgian international Dries Mertens and Jorginho saw Napoli to a routine 2-0 home win over Nice, who had Alassane Pléa and Vincent Koziello sent off.


Young Boys of Bern have a mountain to climb in Moscow after Kasim Nuhu put through his own net in injury time to gift CSKA Moscow a 1-0 win.


And Sporting Clube de Portugal and Steaua Bucuresti played out a scoreless draw in the Portuguese capital.

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Dave Donnelly

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