Celtic’s u-19 side won a thrilling UEFA Youth tie 2-1 in Anderlecht this afternoon.
Early goals from Mikey Johnston and Regan Hendry put the hoops in charge but after the hosts pulled a goal back in the 65th minute it made for a very nervy match with Tommy McIntyre’s side holding out to claim three points.
Celtic got off to the perfect start with two goals in the first ten minutes with Jack Aitchison involved in both.
In the third minute his pass opened up the Anderlecht defence with Johnston running onto the ball, drawing the home keeper and tucking the ball low into the net.
Seven minutes later a great flowing move ended with Aitchison laying the ball behind an Anderlecht full-back with Hendry lifting an angled shot over the diving keeper for Celtic’s second goal.
This @celticfc youth side know how to play football ????
MD1 – 20-pass build-up for a goal ????
MD2 – Another flowing move from the back ???? pic.twitter.com/YgUgAySWA1
â€” BT Sport Football (@btsportfootball) September 27, 2017
Anderlecht were shaken by that start while the hoops gained in confidence knocking the ball around as if it was a training session.
Just before the half hour it could have been three for Celtic. Aitchison put Henderson through but when the keeper parried the shot Aitchison’s effort was deflected wide for a corner.
In the 33rd minute Anderlecht came close to pulling a goal back when a sloppy pass from Ryan Mullen to Stephen Welsh set up a chance but as the ball was squared across goal Robbie Deas came sliding in from nowhere to clear the danger.
After the break Anderlecht piled on the pressure but were left open to Celtic hitting them on the counter attack although Mullen pulled off a great instinctive save in the 55th minute.
Ten minutes later the Belgians pulled a goal back after the ball ping ponged around the penalty area before breaking to Lokanga whose scuffed shot bounced off the deck and into the net.
Celtic were at full stretch to keep Anderlecht out but five minutes from the end Grant Savoury missed a great chance when he shot wide from 10 yards after being set up by Kerr McInroy on a great driving run.
In the other group match PSG drew 1-1 at home against Bayern Munich.
CELTIC: Mullen; Duffy (Savoury 84), Welsh, Deas, Miller; Hill, McInroy; Hendry, Johnston (Watson 71), Henderson (Bell 62); Aitchison
SUBS: Willison, Caffrey, Diver, Potter