Brendan Rodgers praised Dorus de Vries after his back-up goalkeeper came in after more than a year out to help Celtic to a 1-0 home win over Dundee. With a view to the Champions League trip to Bayern Munich in midweek, Rodgers reshuffled his squad with the 36-year-old Dutchman back for the first time competitively since featuring against Kilmarnock in September, 2016.
Amid seven changes, Costa Rica right-back Cristian Gamboa made his first appearance of the season and Eboue Kouassi returned from a knee injury. After French midfielder Olivier Ntcham put Celtic ahead, De Vries thwarted Paul McGowan, Roarie Deacon and substitute Faissal El-Bakhtaoui.
Rodgers said: “That was another positive for us. When you think of the players we have out and the players to come in like Eboue Kouassi. Cristian Gamboa went halfway round the world to play in World Cup qualifiers and came back and I thought he was excellent. And Dorus de Vries, you see in a game like today why I have him in. It is a testament to how professional he is, how hard he has worked. It is has been a year or so since he last played competitively. The last game was Sunderland away [a pre-season friendly] where he was excellent and this was a nice game to come into.”
Dundee manager Neil McCann thought his side should have had a penalty in the second half when Gamboa and Jack Hendry clashed heads inside the box. The Dundee defender had to come off for Jesse Curran and the Celtic player was soon replaced by Kristoffer Ajer.
“I think it is a penalty,” McCann said. “I don’t care if it is accidental. Big Jack has gone in and has been cleaned out by Gamboa and I don’t see why it is not a penalty. Anywhere on the pitch that is a free-kick.”