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Rodgers salutes Celtic's killer instinct against Alashkert

Celtic took control of the Champions League qualifier by winning 3-0 in Armenia.

Brendan Rodgers saw Celtic claim the advantage against Yerevan.
Brendan Rodgers saw Celtic claim the advantage against Yerevan. SNS

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers praised his players for defying testing conditions to put Alashkert to the sword with two late goals in Armenia.

The Hoops will take a comprehensive lead back to Glasgow after defeating Alaskhert 3-0 in Yerevan.

Odsonne Edouard opened the scoring for the Scottish champions, before James Forrest and Callum McGregor struck late on to all but book the Hoops' spot in the second round.

"It is a huge credit to the players and medical staff," Rodgers told BBC Radio Scotland.

"We know we have a long way to go in terms of getting to full capacity but certainly at this stage, to show that hunger and desire to continue to work to the very end, it was a real winning difference.

"They kept pushing and kept working and they got their rewards. So it was a great credit to how hard they have worked fitness-wise.

"A clean sheet was important because as you start to tire in the game you can maybe lose a goal cheaply.

"But we didn't do that, we concentrated well and scored three very good goals."

Rodgers believes Celtic will reap the benefits going forward after taking on the Armenian champions in sweltering conditions.

The Northern Irishman said: "It is breathless really. You sense it just standing in it.

"I thought they coped with it very well.

"They will really benefit from that game in terms of fitness and it sets us up well for the next leg.

"It is just a case of picking the team to win the game but also to get the players developing their fitness."

Rodgers picked out record signing Edouard and Scotland international McGregor for particular praise after the match.

He said: "It (first goal) was great timing and a really good finish.

"He doesn't need to justify his price tag. He is an outstanding talent and he just gets on with his football.

"He (McGregor) played with a lot of authority and personality. He is a real attacking midfield player.

"We have different types. Browny (Scott Brown) is a defensive one, Olivier (Ntcham) is a passing midfield player and you have Callum who is an attacking midfield player.

"He can go forward, break lines and score goals and he does it very regularly and in big games now.

"He is a very valuable player to our squad."

https://stv.tv/sport/football/1422616-celtic-defeat-alashkert-3-0-to-take-control-of-qualifier/ | default

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