Brendan Rodgers described Celtic as a joy to watch as they warmed up for Paris Saint-Germain with a handsome 4-1 win at Hamilton.
The French side outdid them by a goal with a 5-1 win at Metz last night. Nevertheless, Rodgers felt Celtic’s victory puts his side in good heart before Tuesday’s Champions League clash.
“We leave here having had a great confidence boost,” said the Celtic manager. “We made the game look very simple. But now we go on to take on one of the best teams on the planet.
“Tonight was a big game for us,” he said. “It might not have been for others. But for us I said we have two games – tonight and Tuesday.
“There might not be so many people watching tonight. The world will watch on Tuesday. But this was our biggest game because it was the next game.
“The contrast [between the matches] is why I enjoy being here in Scotland.
“I enjoy coming to different areas and playing on different surfaces, different parts of the ground, filled and not filled. But of course we always have the comfort of home.”
Rodgers was glad of a little help from Tuesday’s Champions League opponents. Odsonne Edouard, signed on loan from PSG, scored his new side’s fourth.
Stuart Armstrong and a double from Scott Sinclair had secured the points by half-time. Substitute Alex Gogic headed in a consolation for Hamilton at the end.
“The kid [Edouard] has come in and left Paris in 30 odd degrees and come to Glasgow where it’s been raining all week and trained under floodlights on Thursday morning – at 11 o’clock!” said Rodgers. “He probably wondered what he’s let himself in for. But he was exceptional tonight.”
Rodgers revealed the player had received a round of applause from his team-mates and the coaching staff when he returned to the dressing-room after the game.
Celtic now return to the top of the league, for a few hours at least. “I thought we were outstanding, a joy to watch in the first half,” said Rodgers “At 4-0 we switched off a little but the whole story of the game was brilliant.”
Hamilton manager Martin Canning admitted his side were blown away.
“I asked the side at half-time to keep fighting, don’t give up and try not to lose the second-half,” he said.
“I was pleased when we got the late goal and drew the second half 1-1, which was pleasing considering where we were at half-time.”
The only potential negative on the night for Celtic was when their captain, Scott Brown, appeared to flick a boot out at Hamilton defender Ioannis Skondras in the first-half.
Brown played down the incident in his post-match interview on BT Sport.