Champions League qualifier
Below-par Celtic do enough to progress
Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers is looking for an improvement from his team against AEK Athens (pic: SNS Group)
Rosenborg 0 Celtic 0 (agg: 1-3)
2nd qualifying round, 2nd leg
It was far from a vintage performance by Celtic but they did enough against Rosenborg to take another step closer to the Champions League group stages.
Although they had to endure an edgy first half in Trondheim, the stalemate meant the Hoops’ 3-1 victory in the first-leg in Glasgow took them through to meet AEK Athens in the third qualifying round.
Boss Brendan Rodgers knows his players will have to step it up a gear when the Greeks visit Parkhead on 8 August but he will take confidence from the overall defensive display against the Norwegians, an aspect of the game which has so often proved Celtic’s Achilles Heel on their travels in Europe.
“To come away and keep a clean sheet was very pleasing,” he said.
“We’ll play better football, we need to be cleaner with our passing and build-up play but what you’ve got to show, especially in Europe, is a mentality to defend, and we did that exceptionally well.”
With the onus on the home side to take the game to Celtic, it wasn’t a surprise to see Rosenborg have much the better of the first.
Marius Lundemo had his side’s best chance when his goal-bound header was tipped over by Craig Gordon as the interval approached.
It was a more confident-looking Celtic team which emerged for the second period. They created a couple of decent chances to kill off the tie, with Odsonne Edouard and Scott Sinclair coming close.
At the end of the day, neither team could find the back of the net as the visitors safely passed their Trondheim test.
Rodgers will now do his homework on the Greek champions. “We have got through and the first leg is at home and that is going to be very important for us. We have been really aggressive at home in my time here.
“If you’re positive at home you can get a scoreline that will get you through.”
Celtic: Gordon, Gamboa, Hendry, Ajer, Tierney (Lustig, 85), Brown, McGregor, Ntcham, Forrest (Rogic, 63), Sinclair, Edouard (Christie, 72).