Celtic returned to Paradise in a curtain raising friendly versus Standard Liege this afternoon and ran out 4-1 winners.
Three first half goals from an energetic Celtic turned the pre-season friendly into an exhibition. Odsonne Edouard’s stunning opener after 14 minutes got Celtic off to a flying start before Dembele (21′) and McGregor (41′) put the game beyond doubt.
The second half brought numerous changes as Brendan decided to switch the XI completely to get minutes under the belt of the team. Mikey Johnston’s (62′) first goal at Celtic Park put the result beyond doubt. The fixture became a formality towards the end as the Belgians clawed back a consolation goal.
Four talking points:
1. Vive La France – On Bastille Day, two French strikers started the fireworks with two well worked goals. The pair linked up well, carved out chances as well as offering up a lot of excitement amongst the support. They had plenty of chances and threatened. This pair will be brilliant to watch as the season goes on.
2. Clinical ahead of Armenian visit – Celtic looked too hot to handle as the Alashkert team come to salvage something in Glasgow on Wednesday; however, on today’s showing, the Celts should have no problem navigating this week’s task before facing either Rosenborg or Valur.
3. Paradise in bloom. Celtic Park having undergone numerous upgrades throughout the summer, looked stupendous with a luscious, fast turf. We will get a chance to see the new LED lights in action on Wednesday as we look to book our place in the next round.
4. Squad depth. The point has been put across repeatedly that Celtic’s excellent squad depth will help tackle fatigue and complacency throughout the season. With a large squad, vying for places, Brendan Rodgers will have the luxury of having a pool of players hungry to play and impress.
CELTIC FIRST-HALF TEAM (4-2-3-1) Bain; Hendry, Ajer, Simunovic, Tierney; Brown, Ntcham; Forrest, Edouard, McGregor; Dembele
SECOND-HALF TEAM (4-2-3-1) Hazard; Ralston, Welsh, Compper, Miller; Eboue, Allan; Johnston, Henderson, Sinclair; Christie
Not Used: Benyu, Church, McInroy