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Rodgers: Celtic must improve

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has urged his players to improve on their performance after they just about sneaked into the round of 32 stage of the Europa League.

The Hoops appeared destined to bow out of the competition after trailing 2-0 to Salzburg at Parkhead heading into stoppage time but their blushes were saved after Rosenborg equalised dramatically in the other game at RB Leipzig. The likes of have made them amongst the favourites to make it through to the Semi Finals, but they need to up their game if they are to make it there.

Olivier Ntcham thereafter put a minor gloss to the performance after scoring from his penalty-rebound for the Hoops but Rodgers has admitted that the team’s showing was not the best on the night, he said: “Not until I heard the noise then a couple of guys on the bench said that Rosenborg had scored. That was a great achievement by them, but it also demonstrates the quality and difficulty of the group — that Rosenborg can go away and get a result like that in Leipzig. We didn't play well but what we have shown over the course of the six games is that we can play well. I'm so happy for the players after playing in so many games to get that reward at the end of it is a great achievement.”

Nonetheless, the former Liverpool boss would be relieved after reaching the knockout phase of the tournament but their challenge does not get any easier as they are expected to face either the winners from the eight groups or the teams who finished third during their Champions League group stage campaign.

Meanwhile, Celtic also seem to have a fight on their hands for the Scottish Premiership title with Old Firm rivals Rangers currently at the top of the standings, although they are only one point ahead of them after having played an extra game more. Rodgers’ team are scheduled to face Motherwell for the second time in the month on Wednesday night. The previous meeting ended in a 1-1 draw.

Since Steven Gerrard arrived at Gasgow Rangers he has given them a new confidence to get forward and attack. Whilst the made their way up from the Scottish League Two with some gritty ball-winning midfielders hogging the limelight, they are now recognised as one of the most attractive teams to watch - with their attacking midfielders and wingers helping them to move the bal forwards with breath-taking speed.