Brendan Rodgers was pleased to see his men play with “hunger and desire” as Celtic claimed a comfortable 3-0 victory over Alashkert in their Champions League qualifier.
The Scottish champions, who are priced at 1.08 to retain their title in 2018-19, travelled to Armenia as heavy favourites to secure a positive result in the first-leg meeting.
Celtic had to contend with searing conditions but their class shone through as they wrapped up a convincing win.
Odsonne Edouard joined permanently this summer after spending last term on-loan with Celtic and he opened his account for the campaign with a strike in additional time at the end of the first half.
The Bhoys were determined to add to their tally in the second period and their efforts finally paid off when James Forrest and Callum McGregor both hit the back of the net in the final 10 minutes.
Rodgers revealed his delight and the full-time whistle and praised his men for battling on through in difficult conditions.
“It is a huge credit to the players and medical staff,” Rodgers said.
“We know we have a long way to go in terms of getting to full capacity but certainly at this stage, to show that hunger and desire to continue to work to the very end, it was a real winning difference.
“They kept pushing and kept working and they got their rewards. So it was a great credit to how hard they have worked fitness-wise.
“A clean sheet was important because as you start to tire in the game you can maybe lose a goal cheaply. But we didn’t do that, we concentrated well and scored three very good goals.”