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Saturday 16 December 2017

Commons' early goal is enough for Bhoys

A sixth-minute strike from Kris Commons (pictured) earned Celtic a 1-0 win over Dinamo Zagreb as the Parkhead side adapt to life in the Europa League.

The knife-edge tension of the Champions League was missing but the crowd of around 30,000 enjoyed an exciting match that was a cut above the standard SPL fare provided by visits from Hamilton and St Mirren.

Goalkeeper Craig Gordon played a huge part in the victory, pulling off the sort of saves that carved out Fraser Forster's reputation and a transfer to Southampton.

It took Celtic just six minutes to open the scoring with a brilliantly taken goal from Commons. After stepping over a pass from Emilio Izaguirre, last season's leading scorer darted into space in the penalty box to collect Stokes' pass before drilling a low shot across Eduardo into the net.

Just past the hour mark Celtic should have been two in front when Eduardo got caught out trying to dribble the ball in the six-yard box but after presenting the ball to Commons there were no takers when the ball flashed across goal.

Dinamo certainly looked capable of scoring with midfielder Wilson Eduardo hitting the bar in the 28th minute then forcing a great save out of Gordon with a snap shot ten minutes from the interval.

Stefan Johansen was given a great chance to increase Celtic's lead straight from the restart but failed to control properly as he ran onto a Commons through ball allowing a defender to clear the ball as the midfielder prepared to shoot.

In the 54th minute Dinamo should have equalised when Wilson Eduardo found himself one-on-one with Gordon but the keeper stood firm to block the shot and keep Celtic in front.

Next up for Celtic in the Europa League is a visit from Romanian side Astra who last night lost 2-1 at home to Red Bull Salzburg.

Tottenham, however, failed to get a home win against Turkish side Besiktas despite going in front in the 27th minute through young striker Harry Kane.

That effort looked liked it would give Spurs all the points but an awful handball from Vlad Chriches in the last minute gave the Turks a way back into the game as Demba Ba coolly converted the spot-kick.

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