Brendan Rodgers: Celtic can get better after ‘brilliant performance’
Celtic manager says his team are growing in confidence after 3-0 Anderlecht away win
Striker Leigh Griffiths opened the scoring in the 38th minute of a dull first half at the Constant Vanden Stock stadium with a poacher’s goal and five minutes after the break Patrick Roberts’ drive went in off substitute Kara Mbodji.
Scott Sinclair scored a breakaway third in added time to confirm Celtic’s second away win in the competition — the first was five years ago against Spartak Moscow — and their first clean sheet away from Parkhead.
“It was a brilliant team performance,” said Rodgers, who revealed skipper Scott Brown, who came off with a hamstring injury, will be assessed in the next couple of day with Scotland’s upcoming and crucial World Cup qualifying double header in mind.
“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 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 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, they deserve all the plaudits they get.”
Although they did not manage to win last season, they put in some spirited displays away from Celtic Park and Rodgers thinks that was important. “We go back to last year, with our away form we grew in confidence,” he told BT Sport. “At Borussia Monchengladbach we played very, very well, Manchester City in our last group game we played very well.
“This was our first away game this year and I thought the result was absolutely brilliant. In spells with the ball we were very, very good. At times I still think we are embarrassed to have the ball for long periods.
“You can see we are growing at this level, the three goals were fantastic and the boys deserve a huge amount of credit because it was a great performance, especially on the back of a tough game at the weekend.
“It takes experience and time and it takes belief. Results like this give you that belief. The overall performance was outstanding and it’s a great reward for the supporters.”
The injured Skipper, Brown, says this current crop of Celtic players are “creating history”.
“It’s right up there,” he said. “Our away form has not been the best but it’s a fresh team now and we are creating history going away from home and winning 3-0. Hopefully that’s us going to kick on now.
“It was great, we had a huge result at the weekend and it was good to bounce back and do it again in the Champions League.”