Rodgers: Celtic win showed how much players have developed


Long before he netted the fifth on a night in which Celtic did more than just flex their muscles, Celtic's thoughts would have turned to just who they might be getting in the group stages.

Scott Brown, Olivier Ntcham and Tom Rogic will play in the centre of midfield, with Scott Sinclair and James Forrest called upon to support lone striker Leigh Griffiths from wide areas.

Celtic are looking to book their place back in the Champions League group stages and they once again need to overcome Kazakhstan champions Astana.

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There will have been some slight nerves ahead of the fixture as Astana gave Brendan Rodgers a real fright early in his Celtic career at the start of last season, but this time around Celtic were out to prove just how much they have grown in a year.

Celtic head into the first leg boosted by having a packed dossier on Astana following their clash in the third qualifying round past year. "Then we were able to make better passing options and create more chances".

"Tom is fine", Rodgers said. His influence seemed to be waning as the game wore on but he was still in the right place at the right time to thrash a fourth goal past the Astana goalkeeper.

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"We'll pick a team to win the game [next week]".

It was the home side who got the third when, with Rogic and Yuri Logvinenko on the ground following a clash of heads, Griffiths slipped in Sinclair and he sped through to drill his shot through the legs of the hapless Mokin.

An England U20 global, Roberts is a very skillful player and retained possession well in the Champions League last season as he registered an average pass accuracy of 84%.

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Both stricken players required lengthy treatment, with Rogic playing no further part in the game and being replaced by Callum McGregor.

Celtic can add one new player to their Champions League squad for Wednesday's play-off first leg against Astana if the signing is registered before 11pm on Tuesday.

79' - GOAL! Celtic 4-0 FC Astana.

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