Champions League: Celtic defeat KR Reykjavik

Celtic took a step closer to the UEFA Champions League group stages as they claimed a late 1-0 victory over KR Reykjavik in the first leg of their second qualifying round clash in Iceland.

In Ronny Deila’s ¬†first competitive game since replacing Neil Lennon last month, Celtic dominate possession and created a number of opportunities but had to wait until the 84th minute to break the deadlock at the tiny KR-vollur stadium.

Callum McGregor was the man to seal the deal, cutting in from the right and beating the previously impressive Stefan Magnusson at his near post via a cruel deflection which left the goalkeeper flat-footed.

Celtic hit the woodwork on three separate occasions prior to the goal, with Kris Commons and Leigh Griffiths seeing efforts in either half come back off the bar, while substitute Teemu Pukki hit the outside of the post after a fine double save from Magnusson.

Commons also failed to find the target with two excellent opportunities early in the second period after being set up by Anthony Stokes on both occasions, side-footing the first over the top from the edge of the box before seeing a weak close-range effort easily held by Magnusson.

Fraser Forster had very little to do other than gathering a first-half effort from Gary Martin and, while the slender margin of victory may be a disappointment for Deila, Celtic are hot favourites to progress after the second leg next Tuesday.