Celtic avoided the ultimate embarrassment by thrashing Gibraltarian part-timers Lincoln Red Imps to overturn a Champions League first-leg deficit in manager Brendan Rodgers’s first competitive match at Parkhead.
Trailing 1-0, the hosts made light work of the second leg as three goals in nine first-half minutes from Mikael Lustig, Leigh Griffiths and Patrick Roberts propelled Celtic to the Champions League third qualifying round.
The Bhoys will now face Astana of Kazakhstan in the next round, a side which reached the group stages of last season’s tournament, while Rodgers was content to sample the full force of the Celtic Park atmosphere for the first time in a meaningful match.
“I’m very fortunate to be a supporter who has stood on the sidelines and I’m now here,” he said. “Tonight was really special. I couldn’t have wanted more. I grew up with that, seeing it from the outside.”
Lincoln Red Imps held out for 23 minutes before Lustig settled any Celtic nerves with a curling effort, while moments later Griffiths fired home from the edge of the area and on-loan Manchester City winger Roberts settled matters.