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  • Manager: Celts were pitch perfect in Paradise

    Manager: Celts were pitch perfect in Paradise

    By: Mark Henderson on 14 Jul, 2018 18:01

  • BRENDAN Rodgers was thrilled after Celtic sparkled in the Paradise sunshine to record a resounding 4-1 over Belgian side Standard Liege in today's pre-season friendly.

    The rampant Hoops raced into a three-goal lead at the interval, with Odsonne Edouard’s stunner opening the scoring and Moussa Dembele and Callum McGregor inflicting further punishment on the visitors.

    Although the Scottish champions made 11 changes at the break, they continued to produce some stylish, entertaining football and they added a fine fourth through teenager Mikey Johnston, before Duje Cop scored a late consolation for the beleaguered visitors.

    And speaking to the media after the match, the manager praised his players’ performance and also hailed the impact of the new hybrid pitch at Celtic Park.  

    He said: “I was very pleased with both halves. We were playing against a good side, who just missed out on the Belgian league last year and won their domestic trophy, the Belgian Cup. We knew it was going to be a good standard and they have good speed in their team.

    “I thought our fluency, and the speed and crispness of our game, was outstanding. In the first half, our shape of the team caused lots of problems for them and then obviously the quality of our goals was exceptional really.

    “You come in with a good solid base at half-time and you put out a younger team with some experience around it. and again we were good. The defensive organisation in both halves was excellent and the football was exciting.

    “Congratulations to club and the groundstaff as I’ve been crying about a pitch here for a long time. You saw the speed of it and it’ll get slightly quicker which is great for us - a very pleasing day.”

    Coming on the back of the 3-0 victory away to FC Alashkert in the first-leg of the UEFA Champions League first qualifying round, the emphatic win over Standard continued Celtic's fine early-season form.

    The Hoops boss said: “It’s still very early stages of pre-season, but if I think back to my first game when I came in a few years ago to where we’re at now, and you look at both teams - the organisation through the phases of the pitch, the pressing, the speed of it all, the quality - it makes it all exciting. We still have a way to go to continue our work but it’s good to see.”

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