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How club record signing showed his worth as Celtic powered closer to Champions League promised land

Celtic 3 Rosenborg 1

By Ronnie Esplin

Odsonne Edouard grabbed himself a delightful double as Celtic came from behind to beat Rosenborg 3-1 in the first leg of their Champions League second round qualifier at Parkhead.

The Norwegian champions, who controversially sacked their manager Kare Ingebrigtsen last week and replaced him with academy director Rini Coolen as interim boss, took the lead in the 15th minute through defender Birger Meling.

However, Ulsterman Brendan Rodgers' side showed their mettle, and goals from striker Edouard and fellow Frenchman Olivier Ntcham either side of the break put the home side in front.

Edouard, bought for a club-record fee of £9million from Paris St Germain in the summer after a loan spell last season, stretched that lead with another well-taken goal in the 75th minute to give the Hoops a decent advantage to take to Norway next week.

The two sides met in the penultimate qualifier last season, with James Forrest scoring the only goal of the tie in the return game in Trondheim, and on the evidence of the first leg, the Scottish champions will fancy their chances of a repeat outcome.

There was tinkering to be done by Rodgers as Costa Rica's World Cup right-back Cristian Gamboa came in as replacement for suspended Jozo Simunovic, while Scott Sinclair replaced Moussa Dembele who was ruled out of both legs with another hamstring complaint.

The visitors looked focused, and in the second minute, following an effort from Sinclair which cleared the bar, a shot from Pal Andre Helland slipped past Celtic keeper Craig Gordon's left-hand post, and the tie took a twist when Rosenborg capitalised on a mistake by Jack Hendry to take the lead.

The centre-back advanced up the park only to see his square pass intercepted by skipper Mike Jensen, who set Helland away, and when he moved it on to former Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner his perfectly-weighted pass was guided low past Gordon by Meling from 14 yards.

In the 43rd minute the mood inside Parkhead changed when Edouard controlled a Sinclair cut-back and stroked it past Andre Hansen from eight yards, and within a minute of the restart, Ntcham curled the ball high into the net from outside the box to have the Hoops fans back on their feet.

A curling shot from Callum McGregor caught out Hansen but rebounded off the post before Edouard came close with a free-kick from 20 yards.

Hansen saved at his near post from Sinclair then tipped a long-distance effort from Ntcham onto the bar before it was cleared for a corner which was gathered by the keeper.

A third goal seemed inevitable, and it came when Forrest sent Edouard racing through the middle and, with supreme confidence, he chipped Hansen to give the home side a two-goal cushion, although it could have been three as Hendry's header clipped the bar before going over.

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