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Champions League Play-Off Stage Roundup

Celtic have all but earned their place in the Champions League group stage thanks to a 5-2 win at Celtic Park last night. The Scottish Champions have the left the door ever so slightly open to their Israeli opponents but it will take one hell of a collapse in the 2nd Leg for Brendan Rodgers’ side not to return to Europe’s top club competition.

Celtic were cruising at 3-0 up but it seemed as if they took their foot off the pedal as Israeli Champions Hapoel Beer Sheva managed to reduce the deficit to 3-2 and more importantly register two all important away goals. Thankfully though the hoops still had enough in their locker to once again regain their 3 goal advantage thanks to goals from Moussa Dembele and Scott Brown.

It’s job almost done for Celtic and Rodgers, a professional performance in the return leg will see them over the line.

For Irish Champions Dundalk they couldn’t quite manage a fairytale night at the National Stadium in Dublin as they went down to a 2-0 defeat to Poland’s Legia Warsaw. They will now have it all to do if they are to be the first ever side from Ireland to reach the group stages. That said if they don’t manage to overturn their first leg defeat they will still participate in this season’s Europa League as a reward for their efforts.

Elsewhere in what was arguably the biggest tie of the round, FC Porto and Roma drew 1-1 and it’s the Italians who will have the slight advantage with that precious away goal. While Dutch giants Ajax were held by Russia’s FC Rostov

Here are all the first leg results in full

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Champions Route
Ludogorets Razgrad Bulgaria Czech Republic Viktoria Plzeň 2–0 23 Aug
Celtic Scotland Israel Hapoel Be’er Sheva 5–2 23 Aug
Copenhagen Denmark Cyprus APOEL 1–0 24 Aug
Dundalk Republic of Ireland Poland Legia Warsaw 0–2 23 Aug
Dinamo Zagreb Croatia Austria Red Bull Salzburg 1–1 24 Aug
League Route
Steaua București Romania England Manchester City 0–5 24 Aug
Porto Portugal Italy Roma 1–1 23 Aug
Ajax Netherlands Russia Rostov 1–1 24 Aug
Young Boys Switzerland Germany Borussia Mönchengladbach 1–3 24 Aug
Villarreal Spain France Monaco 1–2 23 Aug

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