The UEFA Champions League is back (sort of).
Teams that qualified for the qualification stage of the tournament took their next steps on this week with the first legs of the first qualifying round.
FK Sarajevo 1-3 Celtic
Celtic boss Neil Lennon was thrilled with the Bhoys first serious match of a new season.
“We had to fit a few square pegs in round holes because of where we are with the squad,” he said. “I thought [Kristoffer] Ajer was unbelievable at right back. Obviously that’s not a long-term thing.”
Mirko Oremus opened the scoring for the hosts in the 29th minute, but Celtic answered six minutes later through Michael Johnston. Odsonne Edouard and Scott Sinclair finished off the scoring, and the visitors are in fine shape for the second leg in Glasgow.
HJK Helsinki 3-0 HB Toshavn
A 30th minute red card to Faith Friday Obilor wasn’t enough to short-circuit HJK’s chances. Leading 1-0 at the the time on Lassi Lappalainen’s first of two goals, the Finnish side eased into the second leg. Daniel O’Shaughnessy scored the other goal.
Nomme Kalju 0-1 Shkendija
Suduva 0-0 Red Star Belgrade
Ararat-Armenia 2-1 AIK
Astana 1-0 CFR Cluj
F91 Dudelange 2-2 Valletta
New Saints 2-2 Feronikeli
Ferencvaros v. Ludogorets Razgrad
Partizani v. Qarabag
Slovan Bratislava v. Sutjeska Niksic
Sheriff Tiraspol v. Saburtalo Tbilisi
Linfield v. Rosenborg
Valur v. Maribor
Dundalk v. Riga FC
BATE Borisov v. Piast Gliwice
Seven teams clinched spots in the knockout rounds as the fourth match day of the Europa League group stage played out around Europe.
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Premier League sides Arsenal and Chelsea are joined by Eintracht Frankfurt, Lazio, Dinamo Zagreb, Bayer Leverkusen, and FC Zurich as clubs to reach the next stage with two matches remaining in this one.
Spartak Moscow 4-3 Rangers
There was no quit from Steven Gerrard‘s Rangers against their desperate hosts, but despite leading 1-0, 2-1, and 3-2, the Glaswegian side allowed goals in the 58th and 59th minutes to sink from the top of Group G to third.
Rangers are a point behind Villarreal, who they host on Nov. 29, and one above last place Rapid Vienna. Spartak has five points and the tiebreaker on the Scottish side with two matches to play.
Celtic 2-1 RB Leipzig
Now this is a statement moment for the Scotland’s Premiership, as Brendan Rodgers‘ men overcame a late equalizer within a minute to earn a big three points against the Bundesliga visitors.
Kieran Tierney scored in the 11th minute, but Jean-Kevin Augustin quelled the excitement at Celtic Park in the 78th minute. Celtic’s Odsonne Edouard scored in the 78th to keep hopes of the knockout rounds alive.
Celtic next visits 0-4 Rosenborg before finishing at home to 4-0 Red Bull Salzburg, who may have nothing at stake.
Fenerbahce 2-0 Anderlecht
Astana 2-1 Jablonec
Lazio 2-1 Marseille
Malmo 1-1 Sarpsborg 08
Genk 1-1 Besiktas
Dynamo Kiev 3-1 Stade Rennes
Rapid Vienna 0-0 Villarreal
BATE Borisov 0-1 Chelsea — RECAP
MOL Vidi 1-0 PAOK
Apollon Limassol 2-3 Eintracht Frankfurt
Krasnodar 2-1 Standard Liege
Akhisar Belediyespor 2-3 Sevilla
Bayer Leverkusen 1-0 FC Zurich
Real Betis 1-1 AC Milan
Slavia Prague 0-0 Copenhagen
Dinamo Zagreb 3-1 Spartak Trnava
Rosenborg 2-5 Red Bull Salzburg
Vorskla Poltava 0-1 Qarabag
Arsenal 0-0 Sporting Lisbon — RECAP
Olympiacos 5-1 F91 Dudelange
Bordeaux 1-1 Zenit St. Petersburg
Ludogorets 0-0 AEK Larnaca
Odsonne Edouard’s second-half goal defied a Celtic red card as the 10-man visitors claimed all three Old Firm Derby points with a 3-2 comeback win over Rangers on Sunday at the Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow.
Celtic is unbeaten over 90 minutes in 12-straight against their Old Firm rivals, winning eight times including five at the Ibrox. Rangers won a League Cup match in penalty kicks.
Rangers led 1-0 and 2-1 through Josh Windass and Daniel Daneias, but Celtic found answers through Tom Rogic and Moussa Dembele before halftime.
Jozo Šimunović was sent off with 33 minutes to play, but Celtic found its winner and went nine points clear of their historic rivals with a match-in-hand. Rangers remain second, five points ahead of Aberdeen.
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An awful giveaway from Dedryck Boyata allowed Windass to put Rangers ahead after three minutes.
But the champs answered through Rogic’s classy finish to level the score in the 10th.
That wasn’t it for the insane stanza, and Rangers capitalized on sloppy Boyata defending to retake the lead through Daneias.
But ‘Gers killer Dembele got on the end of a Scott Brown long ball to have it 2-2 at the break.
Šimunović was shown a red card by referee Willie Collum in the 57th minute, a high elbow ending his day and putting the visitors in a bad place.
Yet, somehow, the reigning champions found the next goal through Edouard, set up by Dembele and scoring from just inside the 18.