Celtic’s Champions League campaign has not really got off to a flyer in the 2023/24 campaign, but there were positives for manager Brendan Rodgers to take from the unfortunate defeat to Lazio in their last game. However, they are absolutely flying in the domestic Scottish Premiership campaign, and having secured a 3-1 victory over Kilmarnock on Saturday, they are now seven points clear at the top of the table as they wait for a few other sides to play out their game in hand.
It is already looking like Rodgers’ team will again be Champions elect, they are, of course, unbeaten so far with seven wins and a draw, and having already scored a league best 19 goals, they have also conceded a joint league best, five. We may only be entering the middle of October, but there is already a sense of ‘when’ could they mathematically lift the title once more, as opposed to ‘if’.
It was a reigning champion performance from Celtic, and their dominance over the game was not matched by the score line to be fair, but Rodgers will not be overly concerned by that given the performance as a whole – Reo Hatate’s opener was quickly followed by Luis Palma sweet strike, and in the second half of the game, although the visitors did get a goal back, Celtic were quick to re-establish their comfortable two goal advantage when Greg Taylor sealed all three points up with his effort.
It was a great way for Rodgers to mark his 700th game as a manager, and their gaffer was obviously very delighted with the outcome on the day.
“It was a very good performance. The score line probably didn’t reflect the dominance in the game. Overall, very pleased. Still a way to go. Slowly we’re building performance level. It was a case of re-grouping again. The group has got a real good mental strength to it and they have that competitive spirit. Their commitment and attitude to learning is excellent.”
“I don’t think the Kilmarnock goal was a goal. The young Kilmarnock player has Greg Taylor in a hold position and as soon as he swivels to go in behind, he’s brought to the floor. Lo and behold they go up the other end and go into the space that Greg leaves. We’re disappointed with that. It’s one of those things.”
Onto the international break now, and Celtic will no doubt be looking for another three points when they make the trip to Heart of Midlothian on October 22nd.