Dedryck Boyata and Stefan Johansen help Celtic to victory

Celtic 2 Stjarnan 0: Celtic’s Champions League journey began with a comfortable 2-0 qualifying win over Icelandic outfit Stjarnan at Parkhead last night.

Dedryck Boyata and Stefan Johansen help Celtic to victory

The part-time visitors came with hopes of spoiling the party in the first leg of the second qualifying round but even though the home side passed up several chances to take the lead, they made the breakthrough when defender Dedryck Boyata – making his competitive debut – headed in the opener a minute from the break from Stefan Johansen’s cross.

The Norwegian midfielder made it 2-0 early in the second-half with a confident finish and even though second-half substitute Leigh Griffiths had a penalty saved in the 78th minute by former Motherwell keeper Gunnar Neilsen, the return game in Iceland next week should be a formality for Ronny Deila’s side, who will face tougher challenges if they are to reach the group stages.

It was a game, though, to blow away the cobwebs for a Celtic side who had played only three pre-season friendlies in preparation, all at St Mirren Park.

Along with former Manchester City defender Boyata, Deila’s most recent signing from Dundee United, Nadir Ciftci, was handed his first start as Celtic cruised to victory.

Celtic:

Gordon, Lustig, Boyata (Ambrose 82), Mulgrew, Izaguirre, Forrest (Griffiths 58), Brown, Biton, Armstrong, Johansen, Ciftci (Stokes 74).

Stjarnan:

Nielsen, Aegisson, Gudjonsson, Daniel Laxdal, Arnason, Praest, Johannsson (Thorri Runarsson 73), Bjorgvinsson (Alti Palsson 86), Finsen, Halldor Bjornsson (Gunnarson 81), Hansen.

Referee:

Daniel Siebert (Berlin).

More in this section

Sport
Newsletter

Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up
IE_logo_newsletters

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox