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Celtic defeat Alashkert 3-0 to take control of qualifier

The Hoops dominated to edge towards the next round of Champions League qualification.

Celtic celebrate Odsonne Edouard's (left) opener.
Celtic celebrate Odsonne Edouard's (left) opener. SNS

Celtic claimed the advantage in their Champions League first round qualifier by defeating Alashkert 3-0 in Yerevan.

In sweltering conditions, Odsonne Edouard opened the scoring for the Hoops with a neat finish on the brink of half-time.

Winger James Forrest doubled Celtic's lead with ten minutes to go, pouncing on a loose ball in the penalty area before placing the ball into the net.

Callum McGregor made the win a comprehensive one by adding a third in the dying moments with a controlled effort.

After surviving a couple of early scares that saw the Armenian champions twice go close, it proved a comfortable workout for the Hoops.

Moussa Dembele was first to test Ognjen Cancarevic, forcing the home side's keeper into an acrobatic save to deny his curling effort on the half-hour mark.

Midfielder McGregor was next to go close for the Hoops as the midfielder picked up a Dembele cut-back but saw his driven effort fly past the post.

The Scottish champions' pressured paid off just before the break, though, as Forrest's wayward shot found Edouard at the back post and the French attacker coolly placed the ball into the net.

After the interval, Alaskhert had the chance to grab an equaliser but Craig Gordon saved comfortably, before the Armenian champions hit the crossbar.

The Parkhead side reasserted their authority thereafter and doubled their advantage on 80 minutes when Forrest arrived right on cue to prod home.

McGregor added a third in injury time when he slid the ball into the far corner to all but secure Celtic's spot in the second qualifying round.

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