By David Woods

23rd Aug, 2017 | 11:24am

Celtic midfielder sends message to fans after sloppy Champions League display v Astana

By Harry Sykes

Celtic made much harder work of their Champions League play-off second leg than anyone thought possible.

With a 5-0 lead from the first leg at home, it looked like the team just had to turn up to secure their passage through to the group stage of the competition.

However, fans had reckoned without a truly spirited display from their Kazakh opponents at the Astana Stadium.

While their progress still never really looked in serious doubt, when Celtic were trailing 4-1 in the second half, they were very glad of Scott Sinclair’s away goal.

In the end they rallied back to lose just 4-3 but the sloppy display will be a massive concern to manager Brendan Rodgers ahead of much tougher away games to come in Europe.

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Celtic midfielder Eboue Kouassi delivered a triumphant message to Celtic fans after the match, saying their club would “fight for it”.

He congratulated the team on getting through and included a hashtag for his shirt number, 88.

The 19-year-old midfielder sat both legs out with an injury and is yet to make a senior appearance for the team this season.

He has made six appearances in total for Brendan Rodgers’ side since his move from Krasnodar in January, and may see more game time now it’s been confirmed that Celtic will be fighting on a number of different fronts again.

Celtic will find out who they play in the group stage on Thursday afternoon, when the draw is made around 5pm.

In other Celtic news, Moussa Dembele has trolled Rangers after the Hoops progressed to the Champions League group stages on Tuesday night.

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