Celtic 3 Suduva 0: Griffiths reaches milestone as Hoops progress

Leigh Griffiths scored his 100th Celtic goal and assisted another as Brendan Rodgers' side advanced to the Europa League group stage.

Celtic players celebrate Leigh Griffiths' goal.   -  Getty Images

Celtic eased into the Europa League group stage as a 3-0 home win over Suduva completed a convincing 4-1 aggregate victory in the playoff round.

Leigh Griffiths' splendid free-kick and second-half goals from Callum McGregor and Kristoffer Ajer gave Brendan Rodgers' side a morale-boosting result ahead of this weekend's Old Firm derby with Rangers - which sealed its own progression, earlier, on Thursday.

The Hoops was held to a frustrating 1-1 draw in last week's trip to Lithuania, but encountered few such troubles in nerveless first half.

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Starting without Lyon-linked strike partner Moussa Dembele, Griffiths proved he is more than capable on his own by brilliantly curling beyond Ivan Kardum in the 27th minute for his 100th goal since joining from Wolves in 2014.

Celtic's task could should have been made easier by half-time, only for Scott Sinclair and midfielder McGregor to both waste fine opportunities to put the tie beyond doubt.

Sinclair was unable to beat Kardum at point-blank range, before McGregor finished across the face of a goal from a tight angle.

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But, the pair combed to atone for its errors within seven minutes of the restart, McGregor, clinically, picking out the bottom right corner from Sinclair's pass.

And, Rodgers was able to begin planning for his reunion with Steven Gerrard when Ajer put the result beyond doubt in just after the hour mark.

The defender rose to meet Griffiths' delivery with a header that evaded the scrambling Kardum and nestled in the bottom corner as Celtic wrapped up a result that goes some way to making up for its Champions League disappointment.

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