Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers says it is ‘only half-time’ after watching his side fire five goals past Astana without reply in their Champions League playoff clash.
The Scottish champions took a giant step towards the lucrative group stages of Europe’s elite competition for the second year running with a demolition of their Kazakhstani counterparts at Parkhead.
The Hoops were slow to get going but took control after half an hour, midfielder Tom Rogic slaloming through the Astana defence before seeing his shot turned over the goal line by Erik Postnikov.
Scott Sinclair extended Celtic’s lead before the interval and doubled his tally on the hour before James Forrest and a Leigh Griffiths shot that deflected in off Igor Shitov completed a fantastic night for the Bhoys.
Rodgers hailed the progress his team has made since edging out Astana with a stoppage time penalty in this competition 12 months ago, while he warned that Celtic won’t take anything for granted in the away leg next Tuesday.
“I don’t think we could have done any more. It’s a brilliant scoreline for us.
And I thought the performance overall was outstanding,” said the Hoops boss. “I think you see the progress in the team in the course of this last season.
The calmness on the ball in a real pressure game. And to score five goals and not concede is a big achievement.
“But like we said in there, but it is half-time. We’ve got to ensure we recover. We’ve got a game on Saturday. And we’ve got to go out to Astana and finish the job.”
Celtic are 8.00 to Kilmarnock 3-0 on Saturday in their Scottish Premiership clash.