Celtic eased past Dundee 3-0 thanks to goals from David Turnbull, Kyogo Furuhashi, and Matt O’Riley.
Summer signing Nat Phillips went off injured at half-time but Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers cooled any concerns over the substitution after the match. He said “Towards the end of the game he rolled his ankle in the last actions of the first-half. He was going to play 60 minutes but it was just precautionary we took him off and he should be fine.”
Rodgers spoke of the growing partnership between O’Riley and Kyogo. He said: “O’Riley and Kyogo from early on you can see that little combination and the cleverness in their game, both of those players have been excellent since I came back.
“Kyogo creates a goal and scores a goal from a brilliant pass from Callum McGregor and it’s a wonderful header he scores.”
Rodgers was over the moon with the manner in which Celtic scored the third goal. He said: “I was really happy with the third goal because we defended with aggression. You can see when we win the ball back we really double up to win it and then Alistair Johnston makes a great pass into Kyogo, who finds Matt O’Riley well and Matt looks like he’s going to score in every single game.
“I know it took O’Reilly a long time last season to score he was saying but just working on his timing and getting into the areas. He’s got a lovely composure when he finishes so it was another really good goal.
Rodgers emphasised the importance of Reo Hatate’s return from injury. He said: “It’s brilliant to have Reo Hatate back it’s like having a new player to be honest. He’s the type of player that we don’t have in terms of that dynamism in his game and when’s he’s really focused and on it he’s very very good.
“We wanted to give him a half hour today and just feed him back into the game. It was great to have him back on the pitch he’s a top class player.”
Rodgers is enthusiastic going into Tuesday’s Champions League match against Feyernoord. He said: “It’s really exciting I know there can be a bit of trepidation going into the Champions League and the level but for me there’s nothing but excitement.
“It’s a brilliant opportunity for us playing in the elite competition in European club football. We’re going to a really historical ground and we come off the back of a couple of really good wins in different ways.
“We’ll recover well and we’ll get our plan right and then we’ll put out a team to get a result and we’re really going to enjoy the Champions League.”
Celtic captain Callum Mcgregor was jubilant in his praise of Kyogo, He said: “He takes his goal really well and he is top quality. Kyogo is the difference maker at the top of the pitch and he’s always cool as ice when he gets his chances. He brings people into play and his pressing sets the tone for the team as well and I can’t speak highly enough of him.”
McGregor emphasised how crucial the first goal was of the game. He said: “It’s always important to try and get the first goal and start the game well. I think the positive aspect is we stuck to the game plan and kept playing.
“We knew we had to just accelerate it a little bit in the final third. I thought from 45 until 70 minutes we were excellent and we probably could’ve scored another couple of goals.”
McGregor believes that Celtic’s patience was crucial in getting the first goal. He said: “It just shows you the same message you stick to your principles and stick to the the way you play, then once you get that goal things start to open up. Everybody relaxes and starts to play a little bit more free and that’s when the really good stuff happens.”
McGregor spoke of the importance of the Champions League in Celtic’s season. He said: “It’s a big competition this is where you want to be, this is where you want to play football and test yourself as a club.
“It’s a brilliant opportunity for us the stadium will be a brilliant atmosphere against a top opponent as well, so if you can’t get excited for this you are in the wrong game.
“It’s a really top level game so you have to do a lot of things right. You can speak about experience and all these things but on the night you have to a lot right. This will be a real test of where we’re at as a group.
“You have to go and attack it with full belief and try show that what we’ve got is as good as anybody. You have to do a lot right and in the six games we’ll have to be just about perfect to have a really and to have a strong group that’s the challenge for the players.
Turnbull earned Celtic a penalty in the 50th minute which was judged to be a free kick by the referee but was eventually overruled to a penalty by VAR. Turnbull then took the penalty and got the second half off to the right start for Celtic with a calmly taken penalty past Trevor Carson in the Dundee goal.
Kyogo grabbed Celtic’s second goal with a wonderful header after an incredible ball over the top from Callum McGregor to increase the Hoops’ lead.
O’Riley added Celtic’s third to end any doubts over the result in a great performance going into Tuesday night’s Champions League match against Feyernoord at the De Kuip stadium.
Celtic are now two points clear of St Mirren and four ahead of Rangers at the top of the Scottish Premiership after five matches played.