Griffiths helps fire Celtic to 5-0 Champions League stroll

Posted on by TOM DESK

Leigh Griffiths marked his return to the starting line-up following an eight-month absence with a goal as Celtic trounced Estonia’s Nomme Kalju 5-0 in the first leg of their Champions League second round qualifier.

The Scotland international, who had been sidelined after being diagnosed with depression, curled in a 30-yard free-kick to put Celtic three ahead in first-half stoppage-time.

Kristoffer Ajer and Ryan Christie (penalty) had earlier sent Celtic on their way.

Christie, with his second of the night, and Callum McGregor were on target in the second-half to virtually ensure Neil Lennon’s team a spot in the third qualifying round.

“I’m delighted for Leigh. There is an amount of anticipation and to be fair the reception he’s got from the players, the supporters, the club, that makes me very proud,” said Lennon.

“It’ll do his confidence the world of good.”

Should 1967 champions Celtic come through the second leg next week, they will face either Cluj of Romania or Israel’s Maccabi Tel-Aviv.

Cluj will take a 1-0 lead to Israel next week.

On Tuesday, PSV Eindhoven forward Donyell Malen struck in injury time to earn the former European Cup winners a last gasp 3-2 win over Basel.

Basel were on their way to an important away win after goals from Albian Ajeti and Alderete Fernandez.

PSV’s new Portuguese winger Bruma had given the Dutch giants a 14th minute lead but with a minute of normal time remaining it looked to be Basel’s night.

But then late substitute Sam Lammers put them back in business with an 89th minute equaliser before Malen grabbed an unlikely decider in the second minute of injury time.

In other ties Tuesday, Dinamo Zagreb put one foot in the next round with a 2-0 win at Georgians Saburtalo and Copenhagen beat Welsh outfit The New Saints by the same margin.

Olympiakos and Viktoria Plzen ended goalless while APOEL go into their second leg against Sutjeska Niksic with a 1-0 away win.

Credit : http://www.bssnews.net/?p=247647

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