Celtic got their Champions League campaign up and running with an outstanding 3-0 win over Anderlecht in Brussels.
Striker Leigh Griffiths lit up a dull first half at the Constant Vanden Stock stadium with a poacher’s goal in the 38th minute and five minutes after the break Patrick Roberts’ drive took a deflection in off substitute Kara Mbodji.
Anderlecht’s interim boss Nicolas Frutos stood on the sidelines frustrated as Brendan Rodgers’ side withstood everything the Belgian champions could throw at them before Scott Sinclair scored a breakaway third in added time.
What they saidCeltic manager Brendan Rodgers: “It was a brilliant team performance. It was an outstanding performance and result. There are still areas to improve but they were absolutely exceptional. We did very very well. For a s Scottish team to come away, get a 3-0 victory, keep a clean sheet at this level is obviously a big achievement. We can be better than we were tonight but the players deserve a huge amount of credit, on the back of the game at the weekend (2-0 win over Rangers), which was a high intensity game. To come away and deliver that type of performance, the deserve all the plaudits they get.”
Tweet of the match
Star manDedryck Boyata: He returned to his home city looking to impress the “loads of family and friends” in the stand. The Belgium defender, recently returned from a knee injury, looked calm and confident in the face of expected pressure.
Moment of the matchGriffiths’ goal lit up a dreadful first half. The Scottish champions had played their part in an awful game until then but Olivier Ntcham sent Kieran Tierney down the left with an incisive pass and his cross was knocked into the net by the Scotland striker. From then on the Scottish champions did not look back.
View from the bench
After a record 5-0 home defeat to Paris St Germain in match day one, Hoops boss Rodgers was keen to get some points on the board. The Northern Irishman would have wanted his side to perform better in the first half but will be delighted with the 3-0 win which takes the Hoops a long way to ensuring European football after Christmas.
Anderlecht’s interim head coach Nicolas Frutos might just have said goodbye to his chances of getting the post on a permanent basis.
RatingsAnderlecht: Frank Boeckx 6 (out of 10), Olivier Deschacht 6, Uros Spajic 5, Pieter Gerkens 6, Henry Onyekuru 6, Alexandru Chipciu 6, Dennis Appiah 7, Adrien Trebel 6, Leander Dendoncker 6, Lukasz Teodorczyk 5, Sofiane Hanni 8. Substitutes: Kara (on for Spajic 43) 5, Nicolae Stanciu (on for Deschacht 57) 5, Massimo Bruno (on for Hanni 70) 5.
Celtic: Craig Gordon: 7, Mikael Lustig 6, Jozo Simunovic 7, Dedryck Boyata 8, Kieran Tierney 7, Scott Brown 6, Olivier Ntcham 7, Patrick Roberts 8, Tom Rogic 7, Scott Sinclair 7, Leigh Griffiths 8. Substitutes: Callum McGregor (on for Rogic, 66) 5, Nir Bitton (on for Brown, 70) 6, James Forrest (on for Roberts, 77) 5.
Who’s up next?
Celtic v Hibernian, Ladbrokes Premiership, Saturday September 30.
Anderlecht v Standard Liege, Belgian Pro League, Sunday, October 1.