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Leigh Griffiths’ shock booking after bottle thrown at him in Celtic’s Champions League win over Linfield

A bottle was thrown at Leigh Griffiths (Liam McBurney/PA)
A bottle was thrown at Leigh Griffiths (Liam McBurney/PA)

LEIGH GRIFFITHS was booked after having a bottle thrown at him during Celtic’s Champions League qualifier against Linfield.

The Scotland striker was pelted with objects from the stands as he took a corner during an otherwise comfortable 2-0 win for the Hoops.

There was some controversy, not to say bemusement, when Spanish referee Alejandro Hernandez then booked Griffiths for presumably taking too long to take the corner.

 

The Hoops took the first step towards the Champions League with the win over over the part-timers.

The Parkhead club had refused their ticket allocation for the first leg of the second qualifying round clash in Belfast due to safety fears.

However, there were around 300 Hoops fans in the Kop stand, set aside for them in a half-full stadium, to see attacker Scott Sinclair head Brendan Rodgers’ side ahead in the 17th minute before midfielder Tom Rogic made it 2-0 five minutes later.

It was a canter in the second half for the Glasgow club against the Northern Irish champions and Scottish champions will surely finish the tie off next Wednesday night with the winners of the Dundalk versus Rosenborg clash waiting in the next round.

New signing Republic of Ireland winger Jonny Hayes started on the bench as stopper Erik Sviatchenko replaced the injured Dedryck Boyata.

Linfield, managed by former Rangers striker David Healy, had the experienced ex-Gers keeper Roy Carroll in goal and his contribution was notable.

The 39-year-old had to make a save from a Stuart Armstrong drive in the first minute as the visitors took immediate control.

The Northern Irish champions were happy to concede possession and defend deep in their own half, which made it difficult for the Hoops, but they got the breakthrough following a Leigh Griffiths corner from the left.

Defender Jozo Simunovic got his head on to it, but the ball drifted wide to winger James Forrest, who lobbed it back into the six-yard box, where Sinclair nodded past Carroll.

Rogic’s goal also came from a Griffiths corner, this time a low drive which the Australia international smartly dispatched from eight yards out.

(PA)

The home side had to come out of their blue shell and Mark Haughey got on the end of Chris Casement’s cross from the right, but the defender slashed the ball over from 10 yards.

Carroll twice denied Sinclair with fine saves before Mikael Lustig rolled a shot past the far post from eight yards when he ought to have hit the target.

Griffiths had the ball in the net seconds after the restart only for the assistant’s flag to rule it out before Linfield defender Matthew Clarke was carried from the field on a stretcher and replaced by Jordan Stewart after he blocked a Forrest effort inside the home side’s penalty area.

After Griffiths’ 64th minute booking, the Scotland striker was soon withdrawn by Rodgers, with Moussa Dembele coming on, with Hayes replacing Forrest to make his debut and he too had missiles launched at him when took over corner-kick duties.

In an increasingly scrappy match Rogic missed the target with a drive and Carroll thwarted further attempts from Armstrong, Dembele and Lustig twice.