Celtic reach Champions League last-16 after Spartak Moscow win
Last Updated: 06/12/12 7:02am
Gary Hooper: Fired Celtic ahead against Spartak Moscow
Kris Commons scored a late penalty as Celtic reached the Champions League knockout phase with a 2-1 win over Spartak Moscow at Parkhead.
Commons smashed in from the penalty spot after Georgios Samaras tumbled under a challenge from Spartak defender Marek Suchy in the 81st minute.
Celtic knew they had to better Benfica's result to reach the knockout stage for the first time since 2007/08 and the Portuguese side's goalless draw at Barcelona saw the Scottish champions through.
Everything was going to plan for the Bhoys when Gary Hooper latched on to Samaras's long pass before firing low underneath Spartak goalkeeper Sergei Pesiakov.
But a vociferous Celtic Park was silenced shortly before half-time when Ari equalised for the Russians.
Nigerian striker Emmanuel Emenike, a constant menace for Celtic throughout, threaded a pass to the Brazilian forward who expertly chipped over stranded home goalkeeper Fraser Forster.
There was a nervous atmosphere as the home crowd were acutely aware of the scoreline between already-qualified Barcelona and Benfica at the Nou Camp.
Samaras cracked the Spartak post with a fierce volley from Lustig's cross shortly after the second-half restart as the hosts tried to find a breakthrough.
Another chance went begging as Charlie Mulgrew's firm header was acrobatically pushed over the bar by Pesiakov.
But Neil Lennon's men found a winner seconds later as Samaras went to ground, under minimal contact, and referee Felix Brych pointed to the spot.
Commons kept his cool under intense pressure to blast his penalty off the underside of the crossbar and into the net.
Spartak playmaker Kim Kallstrom was sent off on 88 minutes for a second bookable offence as Celtic held on to defy the critics and join Barcelona in the knockout stage.
|Celtic||Team Statistics||Spartak Moscow|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|5||Shots on Target||3|
|3||Shots off Target||4|
|35.6||1st Half Poss.||64.4|
|41.2||2nd Half Poss.||58.8|
UEFA Champions League
Wed 5th Dec - Group E
Shak Donetsk0 - 1Juventus
Chelsea6 - 1Nordsjaelland
Wed 5th Dec - Group F
Lille0 - 1Valencia
Bay Munich4 - 1BATE Borisov
Wed 5th Dec - Group G
Barcelona0 - 0Benfica
Celtic2 - 1Spartak Mos
Wed 5th Dec - Group H
Man Utd0 - 1Cluj
Braga1 - 2Galatasaray
UEFA Champions League Group A
UEFA Champions League Group B
UEFA Champions League Group C
|3||Zenit St. Petersburg||6||7|
UEFA Champions League Group D
UEFA Champions League Group E
UEFA Champions League Group F
|2||Paris St Germain||6||13|
UEFA Champions League Group G
UEFA Champions League Group H
Celtic v Spartak Moscow
Neil Lennon hopes reaching the last 16 of the Champions League will persuade the likes of Gary Hooper to stay at Celtic.
Kris Commons believes Celtic are a match for anyone in the Champions League and would like to face Manchester United.
Kris Commons had the daunting task of taking a late penalty for Celtic but he held his nerve to send the Hoops in the last 16.
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