3 things Brendan Rodgers learned from Celtic’s victory over Motherwell

Celtic continued their positive early start to the new league season as they went seven points clear of rivals Rangers and five clear of second-placed St Mirren at the top of the cinch Premiership with a last-gasp win over Motherwell.

Celtic have shown a title-winning mentality in the last two league games, following up their 3-0 victory at the Tony Macaroni Arena with 10 men by travelling to Fir Park and grabbing a 98th-minute winner against Motherwell.

Both games threw up adversarial predicaments at tricky away venues, but Celtic collected maximum points, whilst Ibrox went into meltdown.

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We learned a lot from Saturday’s dramatic win at Fir Park. Here are three takeaways from that victory:

Early judgement on Palma was harsh

Luis Palma came under some scrutiny from supporters after his first-ever start for the club in the 2-0 Champions League defeat to Feyenoord in Rotterdam. This criticism seemed harsh as, after a quiet first half-hour, the Honduran sprung into life and was one of Celtic’s main threats going forward, especially when cutting inside onto his right foot.

His finishing, especially on his stronger right foot, is his best quality and that was on display for everyone to see at Fir Park as he curled in the opener after coming on from the bench.

He will have a big part to play at Celtic this season and will no doubt be brimming with confidence after opening his goalscoring account.



Kyogo quiet again

In what has been a rare occurrence in Kyogo’s time at Celtic, the Japanese forward could be considered out of form at the moment. He turned in his third quiet display in succession at the weekend, struggling to pick up the pockets of space he so often finds against an organised and rigid defence.

He has now gone three games without a goal, but he is exactly the type of player who can turn his fortunes around swiftly, and there would be no better way of doing so than against Lazio at Celtic Park on Wednesday night. If Kyogo does score against the Italians, he will finally get his Champions League goalscoring account underway after a goalless campaign last season.

O’Riley continues to be key

Once again, the Danish midfielder was the key player for Celtic, turning in a sensational performance both defensively and offensively as he scored the winning goal in the 98th minute, putting the cherry on top of a great display.

A call-up to the Danish national team seems to be on the horizon for O’Riley and it is long overdue. He has been turning in high-quality performances in green and white on a regular basis for a while now, but this season in particular, he really has stepped things up to become one of Rodgers’ favoured men and key players.

O’Riley has particularly shone in games where the team hasn’t been at its best and are in need of an injection of quality, and those games will be the most important at the end of the season when you are reflecting on the big moments.


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