‘Terrific Celtic can go there and score,’ Rodgers

“Some of our attacking football was outstanding,” a delighted Brendan Rodgers said after last night’s 3-1 win over Norwegian Champions Rosenborg in the first leg of the second round of qualifying for the so-called Champions League.

Celtic had gone behind early in the match but a French inspired comeback was always on the cards against the cautious Norwegians.

“The first goal just before half-time was important for us. It’s a wonderful piece of skill by Odsonne, just to create the space, his movement and then to finish.

“Oli’s goal was fantastic. The skill to roll his foot over the ball and drag it back again and then finish like that. He obviously hit the bar as well.

“And then young Odsonne showing what a class act he is. He’s timed his run perfectly, the full back kept him on. He’s gone in and it’s always the mark of a top striker to see a young guy going in like that and then just dinking it over the keeper.

“We hit the crossbar three times so attacking-wise it was really good. It was a very pleasing result.”

Celtic were denied a stonewall penalty too when Ntcham had his legs taken from him so Rosenborg can think themselves very lucky to still be in with a chance in this tie.

Rodgers also pointed to some inexperience in his defence and his own tactics error early in the match for the poor start to the game by the 7IAR Scottish Champions.

“We have two young inexperienced central defenders who are learning all the time and will only get better. We feel we can go out there, defend and then score goals.

“I was honest with the players at half-time. It wasn’t working for us so it was a good lesson for us. I said to the players it was my fault but we will go back to a system and a rhythm we know well and we stayed calm.

“We started the okay, good rhythm, but at European level the balance when you have the ball is important. We made a mistake for the first goal. Once we changed the shape, we had more fluency.

“Some of our attacking play tonight was terrific. It shows you were the players are at in terms of that calmness.

“We ended the game in a much better position than we were last year. We played really well and know we can go there and score. It is half-time but it’s a good one for us.”

About Author

The Celtic Star founder and editor, who has edited numerous Celtic books over the past decade or so including several from Lisbon Lions, Willie Wallace, Tommy Gemmell and Jim Craig. Earliest Celtic memories include a win over East Fife at Celtic Park and the 4-1 League Cup loss to Partick Thistle as a 6 year old. Best game? Easy 4-2, 1979 when Ten Men Won the League. Email editor@thecelticstar.co.uk

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