BOBBY Lennox has always said that Charlie Christie possessed more than enough talent to become a Celtic player but the Highlander couldn’t settle in Glasgow and returned north without making a single a first-team appearance.

By stark contrast his boy, Ryan, looks right at home at the club the old man joined back in the 1980’s when a certain Lisbon Lion held the role of reserve team coach, and to think a year ago the 24-year-old was days away from joining Aberdeen on a permanent deal.

When the John McGinn deal fell through last August, Christie was kept on, much to his surprise. His performance against FK Sarajevo in this second-leg qualifier, which included a superb goal in the first-half, hinted he’s returned from injury an even better player.

Christie took a few months to get going last season and then in April his campaign ended with him knocked unconscious during the Scottish Cup semi-final with Aberdeen. If the playmaker can avoid such mishaps, then he’ll be a huge player for Neil Lennon.

Christie and his team-mates now have Estonian side Nomme Kalju next Wednesday, the first leg at Celtic Park, a second round qualifier they ought to take care of. They were never in any real danger here but did lose a sloppy goal. Lennon’s team remain a work in progress but there was more good than bad over their first competitive 180 minutes.

The only way Celtic were going to have anything other than a comfortable evening was a complacent attitude, the tie was already done, in 99 per cent of people’s minds, so why risk a strain or something more serious so early in the season.

In fact, Celtic played well from the start and had they needed to could have scored more against a team that did well not to have any of their men sent off.

It was an odd night in many ways. Celtic in recent years have mostly played the first-leg of their qualifiers at home, so to have a return in Glasgow, and with a 3-1 lead, has not been something the crowd or players had any great experience of.

There was a lack of drama and tension, which you always associate with European nights at Celtic Park, and while this game wasn’t one for the ages, the supporters could at see that Lennon wants his team to play quick, attacking football.

A quick goal would have killed a tie already mortally wounded. Five minutes had gone when Celtic created their first chance. Scott Brown won the ball, which was passed to Christie, Forrest and then Callum McGregor whose shot from 20 yards wasn’t quite accurate enough.

The Sarajevo players weren’t messing about. Kristoffer Ajer, Odsonne Edouard (twice) and Boli Bolingoli were all dumped on the grass by tackles of the robust nature in the first half hour.

They were all fine if a bit bruised and on 14 minutes, after being set-up by an exquisite touch from Ryan Christie, Boli burst in the opposition box and his outside of the left foot shot forced Vladan Kovacevik into a decent save.

Celtic went close on 25 minutes. Jozo Simunovic, with great skill, came out of defence with the ball, Bolingoli and Lewis Morgan got involved until McGregor from outside the box stung the gloves of Kovacevic.

The home crowd only had to wait a minute until their team beat Sarajevo’s goalkeeper.

Edouard was the supplier, a lovely run past a couple of defenders helped him get the ball to Christie which he despatched into the net quite superbly.

And had Kovacevic not got the tip of a finger to Morgan’s low cross, Edouard had a tap-in.

Sarajevo’s response was to commit as many obvious fouls as possible, a tactic which could have been dealt with better by referee Alain Durieux who booked Mirko Oremus and Benjamin Tatar in the first-half and could easily have show his yellow card to a few others.

Boli was having a far better night that last week and for the second time produced a decent effort, a shot from effort which fizzed wide which came at the end of a run from left-back, one the man he made.

The Belgian spent the second-half charging forward with real intention. He could even have scored if he had a right foot; his weaker terminal part of the leg scuffed a shot from close range into the side-net.

The fouling continued in the second-half. Lennon was not pleased and the fourth official’s ear would have been burning at the end. The Celtic manager’s mood got even worse when Sarajevo scored on 63 minutes.

Boli, who had been good, made a real hash of a pass out from defence, the ball was played up to Mersudin Ahmetovic, his clever header picked out Tatar inside the box and to be fair his finish was perfect and gave Scott Bain little chance to make a save.

This gave Celtic a shake. Forrest’s curling effort was saved, and Morgan had a pop with 15 minutes to go when his fierce effort after brilliantly beating his maker saved by Kovacevic, clearly an accomplished goalkeeper.

But it was to end well. Only minutes after that effort when McGregor, Celtic’s European specialist, took delivery of the ball outside the Sarajevo box and lashed it low past the big goalie into the bottom corner.

There was still time for Leigh Griffiths to get ten-minute run-out, his introduction earning the loudest cheer of the night and a standing ovation.