Brendan Rodgers '˜very proud' after Celtic defeat Zenit

Brendan Rodgers hailed his Celtic players for earning a fully deserved 1-0 first-leg lead against Zenit St Petersburg in the Europa League last 32.

Celtic's Callum McGregor celebrates after he makes it 1-0. Picture: SNS
Celtic's Callum McGregor celebrates after he makes it 1-0. Picture: SNS

The Scottish champions, beset by injury problems, produced a dominant display against their seeded opponents with Callum McGregor scoring the only goal of the match in the 78th minute.

The victory gives Celtic a solid platform to try to finish the job in the second leg in Russia next Thursday.

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“It was a pretty mature performance from ourselves,” said the Celtic manager. “I’m very proud of the team, but we’re only halfway there.

“It’s very important that you defend well in any game. Defensively, we were very strong tonight.”

Rodgers had special praise for on loan Chelsea playmaker Charly Musonda who set up McGregor’s goal shortly after his late entry to proceedings as a substitute.

“Charly’s a dribbler,” added Rodgers. “He was very good when he came on. But it was a great team performance.”