Shamrock Rovers 0 - 7 Celtic: Brendan Rodgers hails French duo

Celtic's Scott Brown (left) and Shamrock Rovers' Aaron Bolger battle for the ball. Picture: Donall Farmer/PA Wire
Celtic's Scott Brown (left) and Shamrock Rovers' Aaron Bolger battle for the ball. Picture: Donall Farmer/PA Wire
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Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers enthused about the performance of his French strike pair Odsonne Edouard and Moussa Dembele after a strong starting line-up warmed up for Tuesday’s Champions League qualifying clash against Alashkert with a very comfortable 7-0 victory over Shamrock Rovers in Dublin.

The Scottish champions will travel to Armenia with confidence after Rodgers gave what looked like a first-choice side an hour of action at the Tallaght Stadium before making wholesale changes during the second half, although skipper Scott Brown had already come off at half-time.

Celtic were five goals up before the mass substitutions with Edouard and Callum McGregor hitting two and Dembele also netting. Subs Scott Sinclair and former St Mirren youngster Lewis Morgan completed the rout.

Rodgers lined up with a 3-5-2 formation and his front pair of proved a handful.

With Leigh Griffiths not featuring in the Irish capital, the pair look set to lead the goalscoring charge in the Champions League first qualifying round.

Rodgers told Celtic TV: “I thought they were excellent, really powerful and dynamic. Odsonne’s movement was terrific, he makes up the fourth man in midfield but he can spin in behind.

“At times we could have played them in a bit earlier and played the pass a bit deeper. So it’s working out the system and where we can exploit teams, what zones we need to get into. But that’s all part of our preparation and the two combined very well.”

The Celtic manager added: “It was a very good exercise. The first 65 minutes the team looked very strong and powerful and scored some very good goals. We need some more work on the shape of that team in terms of some of the relationships within it, especially defensively, but keeping a clean sheet today was good.

“And then we saw the other side, young players who were dynamic and fast and maintained the intensity.”