Tuesday, September 26
 
Aug 22, 2017 at 4.30pm UK
AstanaAstana
4-3
Celtic
Ajer (26' og.), Muzhikov (48'), Twumasi (50', 69')
Postnikov (70'), Shomko (82'), Grahovac (93')
FT(HT: 1-1)
Sinclair (33'), Ntcham (80'), Griffiths (90')

Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers bemoans "yearly" moments of Champions League stress

Brendan Rodgers reflects on Celtic's "yearly thing" of making it hard for themselves to get over the line in Champions League group qualification.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has joked about the club's "yearly thing" of making it hard for themselves to get over the line in qualifying for the Champions League group stages.

The Hoops lost 4-3 at Astana in their playoff second leg in Kazakhstan to reach the group stages 8-4 on aggregate, but at one stage, the hosts were within three goals of completing a remarkable comeback.

Rodgers recalled last season when Celtic survived a nervy second leg onslaught to reach the Champions League group stage with a narrow 5-4 aggregate playoff win over Hapoel Be'er Sheva.

"Welcome to the annual Be'er Sheva moment," Rodgers told Sky Sports News after the game. "When the second goal went in, that was a good moment for us. We turned the momentum of the game then.

"The players were shocked with the goals we conceded but once we got the second goal the calmness came back into the team and that leads into the third goal and we defended much better then. But I think it is a yearly thing these moments.

"We have gone through this qualification phase really well but we had to withstand that and we have seen it before, teams maybe crumbling away and all of a sudden you have a shock result.

"I am very happy and pleased to come though the six qualification games, especially against a team like Astana who are a good side."

The draw for the group stages of the Champions League takes place on Thursday at 5pm BST.

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