Wednesday July 19: Champions League Qualifier Second Round Second Leg; Celtic 4 (Sinclair 4’, 54’ Rogic 48’, Armstrong 90’) Linfield 0 (Celtic WIn 6-0 on Aggregate)
Celtic set up a tie with Norwegian champions Rosenborg after easily defeating Linfield 4-0 at Celtic Park last night. The big team news was the debut of new Bhoy Olivier Ntcham in midfield, as CONTRACT REBEL Stuart Armstong dropped to the bench. Moussa Dembele replaced the injured Leigh Griffiths up front.
Celtic got off to the perfect start after only 4 minutes, as Ntcham’s shot was deflected into the path of Scott Sinclair who rammed the ball home from an acute angle.
The match then settled into a pattern similar to the first game, as Celtic attempted to break down the massed ranks of the Linfield defence. Moussa Dembele really should have scored the second goal but a poor touch let him down as he attempted to round Roy Carroll. Then on the stroke of half-time Tom Rogic missed an even better chance as he prodded the ball past the post when it seemed easier to score.
Thankfully Rogic made up for that miss three minutes into the second-half as he made it 2-0 with a trademark long range strike.
Six minutes later it was 3-0, Sinclair getting his second goal of the game after good play by Ntcham.
Sinclair almost got his hat-trick not long after but his curling effort was tipped onto the bar by Roy Carroll. Just when it looked like Celtic might have let Linfield off with a three goal defeat, Stuart Armstrong popped up in injury time with a nice finish to make it 4-0, after Tom Rogic created chaos in the Linfield penalty box.
4-0 v linfield, Armstrong pic.twitter.com/gAos1lLAIe— goal for celtic (@goalforceltic) July 19, 2017
So as expected a comfortable win for Celtic, with the excellent performance of Olivier Ntcham being a highlight of the game, I would definitely start him against Rosenborg next week. Sinclair was the man of the man of the match though, and he will be vital as the Champions League campaign continues.