Mohamed Elyounoussi opened and completed the scoring in Celtic’s rout

Celtic hammered Iceland’s KR Reykjavik in Glasgow to cruise into the Champions League second qualifying round.

Mohamed Elyounoussi tucked in the opener with Arnor Adalsteinsson’s own goal soon making it two.

Christopher Jullien and Greg Taylor netted with headers and Odsonne Edouard and Elyounoussi added further strikes.

Neil Lennon’s side, back in action after having two league games postponed, will host Djurgardens or Ferencvaros next week.

Swedes Djurgardens visit the Hungarian champions in Wednesday’s one-legged tie and either side will offer Celtic a much stiffer test.

The Scottish Premiership winners’ matches against St Mirren and Aberdeen were called off after Celtic’s Boli Bolingoli broke Covid-19 protocols by visiting Spain then not quarantining before playing in the draw with Kilmarnock on 9 August.

The left-back was unsurprisingly omitted from the squad and his team-mates made short work of their semi-professional visitors.

Jullien’s precise long ball unlocked the KR defence to allow Elyounoussi to round goalkeeper Beitir Olafsson and finish.

Hatem Abd Elhamed centred low for Edouard with the ball deflecting in off Adalsteinsson and Ryan Christie’s corner was powered home by Jullien shortly before the break.

The onslaught continued in the second period and Taylor notched his first Celtic goal from Elhamed’s deep delivery before Edouard danced away from a clutch of defenders to slot in the fifth then made way for debutant Albian Ajeti.

KR improved in the closing stages and had the ball in the net following Palmi Palmason’s header but the offside flag was raised.

And substitute Olivier Ntcham’s superb pass into the box met the sliding figure of Elyounoussi for goal number six.

Man of the match – Greg Taylor

Taylor had little to do defensively and took full advantage with his forays forward rewarded by a goal

What did we learn?

Much like their opening Premiership win against Hamilton, Celtic’s full-backs were constantly high up the park, as the fourth goal typified, and Elyounoussi turned in his best performance of the season so far.

With such a commanding lead so early, the match became shooting practice for Lennon’s men and James Forrest and Scott Brown could have added their names to the scoresheet.

New signing Ajeti and fellow striker Patryk Klimala were given some game time but Edouard, with his movement and scoring contribution, once again showed why he is Celtic’s go-to striker.

One note of concern for Lennon will be the ease with which Kjartan Finnbogason latched on to a long ball to force a save from Vasilis Barkas in the first half.

What did they say?

Celtic manager Neil Lennon: “Lot of positives, sets up nicely for the weekend and the next round. It was a good night’s work.

“Really important to get 90 minutes into the legs and negotiate the tie. To score six goals and keep a clean sheet is very good, so I am pleased with a lot of that tonight. We look forward to Saturday now.”

Celtic goalscorer Mohamed Elyounoussi: “We wanted to start fast. We did. We scored six, that’s nice with a clean sheet as well.

“Everyone knows it’s our target to get back to the Champions League. I’m expecting Djurgardens to win their game – they are a strong team. We expect a tough game but we have to focus on the league and take it from there.”

What’s next?

Celtic visit Dundee United on Saturday evening and return to Champions League qualifying action in Glasgow next Tuesday or Wednesday.

Runar Kristinsson’s KR Reykjavik will enter the Europa League second qualifying round, which will take place in September.


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