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Bayern edge Celtic to reach Champions League last 16

Glasgow (AFP) – Javi Martinez grabbed a late winner as Bayern Munich booked their place in the last 16 of the Champions League for the 10th successive season on Tuesday with a 2-1 Group B win over Celtic in Glasgow.

The German champions took advantage of a Halloween horror show in the Celtic defence to take a 22nd-minute lead through Kingsley Coman.

The Hoops responded positively and Callum McGregor’s 74th-minute equaliser looked set to earn them a share of the points.

However, it took just over two minutes for Bayern to regain their lead with Martinez bravely heading home the winner that keeps them three points behind leaders Paris Saint-Germain, whose 5-0 thrashing of Anderlecht ended Celtic’s hopes of progressing from the group.

The Scottish champions remain favourites to clinch third spot and a Europa League place ahead of Anderlecht, who they host on matchday six, following their win in Belgium earlier in the campaign.

Roared on by a noisy home support, Celtic started brightly and were less wasteful in possession than they had been on their visit to Munich a fortnight ago.

Their early determination was epitomised by Kieran Tierney, who helped to create the first real opportunity of the match. 

His tenacity in a challenge broke up a Bayern attack and released James Forrest down the right wing. The winger’s clever chipped ball to the back post appeared to catch everyone by surprise including the recipient, Stuart Armstrong, with the midfielder somehow poking the ball wide from five yards out.

Moussa Dembele then used his pace and strength to get in behind Jerome Boateng but the French striker dragged his shot well wide of Sven Ulreich’s goal.

Bayern may have been missing Robert Lewandowski and Thomas Mueller through injury, but Jupp Heynckes was still able to name on-loan Real Madrid star James Rodriguez and Arturo Vidal in the starting lineup.

However, it was Coman, an injury doubt in the run-up to the game, who handed the German champions the lead as a comedy of errors let Bayern in.

Dedryck Boyata allowed a long ball out of defence to go over his head and Craig Gordon needlessly rushed out his box, only for Coman to round the ‘keeper and slot a low shot into the net from the edge of the box. 

The goal sparked fury among the Celtic players who claimed the French winger used a hand to flick the ball round Gordon.

Celtic didn’t let this affect them for long and Armstrong nearly made amends for his earlier miss as he played a tantalising ball across goal for Dembele, only for David Alaba to clear the danger.

The Germans looked content to sit on their one-goal advantage in the second half but McGregor disrupted their game plan with a well-taken equaliser. The Scotland international got on the end of a superb pass from Armstrong to send a low shot through the legs of Ulreich and into the net.

Celtic’s joy was short-lived as Bayern soon went in front again. 

Spanish midfielder Martinez leapt above Nir Bitton to get on the end of Alaba’s cross and head past Gordon, with the Bayern player left with blood streaming from a cut above his eye for his efforts.

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