Belfast Telegraph

Sports Awards

Home Sport Football Scottish Celtic

Celtic played like under-12s against PSG, says Brendan Rodgers


By Ronnie Esplin

Boss Brendan Rodgers claimed his Celtic side played like under-12s at times in their 5-0 thumping by Paris St Germain at Parkhead.

The world's most expensive frontline did the damage in the first half of their Champions League Group B opener as Brazilian star Neymar opened the scoring in the 19th minute, 18-year-old French sensation Kylian Mbappe added a second in the 34th minute and Edinson Cavani netted a penalty before the break.

The Scottish champions performed better after the interval but in the latter stages Parkhead defender Mikael Lustig put through his own goal before Cavani grabbed his second with a clever header to hand the home side their record home defeat in Europe.

Ulsterman Rodgers said: "This is a level where you have to look after the ball and you have to make it work for you. In the first half we didn't do that, we were playing like under-12s at times.

"It is confidence, belief. We are missing some decisive players as well who can help us at this level but it is always going to be very tough. That is the reality of it.

"I don't want to be too harsh on the players. They (PSG) are the potential champions of this tournament and where we are at, with all due respect, and where those guys are at, it is not just one or two levels, it is three or four levels away and beyond.

"We always have to be competitive and we weren't for that first period but the second half was much better and the supporters acknowledged that."

Asked about a spectator coming onto the pitch and appearing to aim a kick at Mbappe, Rodgers said: "The crowd reaction said it all. It is disappointing at any ground that a supporter gets onto the pitch.

"I am sure the club will deal with that. It shouldn't be anything that we should see on a football field. The crowd in their reaction told you everything you need to know."

PSG boss Unai Emery was pleased by his side's start to the competition. He said: "I am really happy with the victory.

"The most difficult thing here is to cope with the rhythm they play at, the intensity and of course the support they have.

"My team showed a lot of character and a very controlled approach to the game which I am very pleased with.

"We are pleased that we were in control with and without the ball. I would like to stress that it was a team effort. So it is a mixture of happiness and calmness.

"We are really confident that we can continue on the journey we have set out on, it was good for confidence, it is a good step forward."






Belfast Telegraph

Daily News Headlines Newsletter

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox.


From Belfast Telegraph