Friday, October 20, 2017

Rodgers hails magnificent Celtic after Champions League win

SoccerNews in UEFA Champions League 2 Aug 2017

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Brendan Rodgers hailed his “outstanding” and “magnificent” Celtic side after they booked a place in the Champions League play-offs with a 1-0 aggregate victory against Norwegian champions Rosenborg.

A stunning second-half strike from James Forrest was enough to send Rodgers’ men into the next round, with Astana, Qarabag, Rijeka, Hapoel Beer-Sheva or Slavia Prague their potential play-off opponents.

Celtic are yet to concede a goal in this season’s Champions League after progressing through the last round 6-0 on aggregate against Linfield of Northern Ireland and Rodgers was thrilled with his side’s showing in Trondheim on Wednesday.

“The players were absolutely magnificent,” the former Liverpool boss told Celtic TV. “It’s a pressure game – you are coming to a team who are the champions of their country with a great history like Rosenborg And to come and play like we did was so pleasing.

“You can see the players are maturing, to play in a pressure game like that and pass like we did. The goal we scored was brilliant – the build-up, the patience and quality, and the goal itself.

“It was an outstanding performance and the players deserve a huge amount of credit in how they managed the game.”

Rosenborg manager Kare Ingebrigtsen felt the hosts’ failure to make the breakthrough in the first leg at Parkhead last week was the decisive factor in his side’s exit from the Champions League.

“I thought we had too much respect for the first 45 minutes,” said Ingebrigtsen. “They didn’t create that much. We didn’t test them at all.

“We came out [in the second half], put some pressure on them. In the best period of our game, they scored a goal.

“Small margins decided this game but we knew that it was going to be close. We should’ve scored a goal in Glasgow, that’s where we lost it. We had the bigger chances in Glasgow.”

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