Celtic on course for group stage
Celtic took a giant step closer to the Champions League group stages with a superb 2-0 win over Helsingborg in the first leg of their play-off at the Olympia Stadium in Sweden.
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Kris Commons, who grabbed a last-gasp equaliser at Ross County in the Clydesdale Bank Premier League on Saturday, volleyed the visitors into the lead with less than two minutes on the clock following a cross from Georgios Samaras.
Hoops goalkeeper Fraser Forster made a series of saves as the Swedish champions fought back but in the 75th minute Samaras put Celtic in the driving seat for next week's second leg in Glasgow when he headed in a Commons corner.
Neil Lennon's side might have rode their luck at times but they could have won by more in the end and now face the tantalising prospect of mixing with the elite clubs in Europe for the first time since the 2008/09 season.
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After the game Lennon claimed Forster deserves an England call-up after keeping an invaluable clean sheet in Sweden.
"Fraser's done his chances (of an England call-up) no harm tonight," Lennon said on ITV1.
"I said you'd have an audience tonight and to go and show them how good you are.
"I thought he was excellent tonight. We've been banging the drum about him for a while, but it's not for us to say."
Lennon admitted his side had been flattered by a scoreline that leaves them in pole position to progress ahead of the return leg at Celtic Park next week.
"The job is only half done. There is a big game at Celtic Park to come. Helsingborg showed how dangerous they can be."