Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has hailed his side’s thumping 5-0 win over Astana in the first-leg of their Champions League playoff. \
The Hoops boss described the victory as an ‘outstanding team performance’ but insisted that there is still an away game left to play.
The Hoops had a tough outing against their Kazakhstan counterparts last time around as they drew 1-1 away at Astana before clinching a 2-1 victory at home in the third qualifying round. Rodgers had recently admitted that his team has made significant from the previous year, and their improvement was on show on the playing field as they bagged a convincing 5-0 victory which included a Scott Sinclair brace.
Following the game, Brendan Rodgers said: “We want to go there and win the game. We want to perform well. It was a brilliant performance and now we need to get the job done there. It’s a great demonstration of the work the players have made and progressed over the course of the last season. It was an outstanding team performance, creativity, pressing, really good structure to the team. We scored five goals and missed one or two chances. To do that at this level of competition for a Scottish team, I was really proud of the team.”
Celtic have dominated the Scottish Premiership with six straight titles on the trot, and Rodgers’ task will now be to progress further than the group stage of the Champions League – provided they do not mess up their first-leg advantage at Astana.
A host of Celtic players have been linked with proposed moves away from the club, but it appears that their current squad will remain intact for at least one more season with Rodgers seeking to re-establish the club at the European stage. Meanwhile, Celtic will have the chance to enter into pot three of the Champions League draw, should one of Olympiacos, Liverpool, Sevilla or Napoli lose out in the playoffs.