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Champions League Qualifiers Round Up

Celtic are now potentially 90 minutes away from the coveted Champions League group phase with a 1-0 win over Qarabag of Azerbaijan last night. An 82nd minute Deydrck Boyata header was the difference to give Celtic a slight advantage going into the return leg next week.

In the other matches of the “Champions Route” over the last couple of nights, the biggest names in at this stage all had comfortable matches with Basel of Switzerland bagging a 3-1 away win at Poland’s Lech Poznan, while Red Bull Salzburg have one foot in the group stages with a 2-0 home win over Malmo.

One name we are all going to have to get to grips with soon though is Skenderbeu of Albania who after beating Milsami Orhei of Romania 2-0 away last night are now just one game away from a remarkable qualification to the Champions League stages. Off the top of my head they would have to be one of the lowest ranked sides to ever reach the tournament proper.

In the “Champions Route” there were mixed fortunes for what you would consider Champions League regulars. Ajax gave up a 2-0 lead last night in Vienna after being pegged back by 10 men Rapid Wien. While Monaco showed their dominance over Young Boys of Berne with a 3-1 win, all goals came in the second half after admittedly was quite a drab first 45 minutes. Fenerbahce who have recently signed Nani and Robin Van Persie could only draw 0-0 with Shakhtar Donetsk in what now sets up an incredibly tight second leg next week.

Here are all the results in full:

Team 1 Agg. Team 2 1st leg 2nd leg
Champions Route
Lech Poznań Poland Switzerland Basel 1–3 5 Aug
Milsami Orhei Moldova Albania Skënderbeu Korçë 0–2 5 Aug
HJK Finland Kazakhstan Astana 0–0 5 Aug
Celtic Scotland Azerbaijan Qarabağ 1–0 5 Aug
Steaua București Romania Serbia Partizan 1–1 5 Aug
Midtjylland Denmark Cyprus APOEL 1–2 4 Aug
Maccabi Tel Aviv Israel Czech Republic Viktoria Plzeň 1–2 5 Aug
Dinamo Zagreb Croatia Norway Molde 1–1 4 Aug
Videoton Hungary Belarus BATE Borisov 1–1 5 Aug
Red Bull Salzburg Austria Sweden Malmö FF 2–0 5 Aug
League Route
Panathinaikos Greece Belgium Club Brugge 2–1 5 Aug
Young Boys Switzerland France Monaco 1–3 4 Aug
CSKA Moscow Russia Czech Republic Sparta Prague 2–2 5 Aug
Rapid Wien Austria Netherlands Ajax 2–2 4 Aug
Fenerbahçe Turkey Ukraine Shakhtar Donetsk 0–0 5 Aug

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