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Celtic 3 Alashkert 0 (6-0 agg): Dembele hits brace before injury worry

18 July 2018 23:13

Celtic cruised past Alashkert 3-0 to conclude a dominant 6-0 aggregate win despite playing much of the second leg of their Champions League qualifier with 10 men.

Moussa Dembele scored twice inside the first 20 minutes, either side of Celtic centre-back Jozo Simunovic's dismissal for a high challenge on Jefferson Reis.

The Armenian champions never looked likely to make the most of their numerical advantage and James Forrest scored 10 minutes before the break to follow up his first-leg goal, although a potential hamstring injury for star man Dembele tempered any satisfaction for boss Brendan Rodgers.

The France Under-21 forward illustrated the gulf in class as early as the seventh minute when he shimmied his way into the Alashkert box, lost his footing but still managed to retrieve the situation and steer into the bottom corner.

It meant Simunovic's moment of rashness came with the tie all-but over and Celtic certainly did not need the help of a generous penalty call when Odsonne Edouard went down under Artak Grigoryan's challenge.

Dembele made no mistake from 12 yards and Alashkert goalkeeper Ognjen Cancarevic remained fully occupied as he denied Edouard at his near post.

Opposite number Craig Gordon pushed away a Grigoryan drive before Celtic's third arrived on the break – Forrest making no mistake after being teed up by Edouard.

The action tapered off from then on, with Dembele clutching the back of his leg on the turf before departing a concern for Rodgers ahead of the next week's home leg in the second qualifying round, where the Scottish champions will face Norwegian counterparts Rosenborg.

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