Celtic secured their place in the group stages of the Champions League despite a 4-3 defeat to Astana in Kazakhstan.
Leading 5-0 going into the second leg, Rodgers’ side conceded early doors thanks to a own goal from Kristoffer Ajer, and despite scoring an equaliser through Scott Sinclair Celtic fell apart in the second half.
Serikzhan Muzhikov and two goals from Patrick Twumasi put Astana 4-1 up with 20 minutes still to play, as Celtic fans could only watch on as their side looked as if they were doing all they could to throw away their first leg advantage.
However, late on Olivier Ntcham and Leigh Griffiths scored for Celtic to secure the Scottish champions’ place in the group stages of the Champions League and banked £35 million in the process.
Despite going through 8-4 on aggregate, Tuesday’s result is the first defeat for Celtic in all competitions since losing to Barcelona in November 2016.
Brendan Rodgers interview after the game. pic.twitter.com/cjkjbTNrj3
— CelticLisboa (@CelticLisboa) August 22, 2017
Celtic will now wait to see if they will be in pot three or four for Thursday’s draw in Monaco, hoping that one of Sevilla, Liverpool, Olympiakos or Napoli is eliminated from the competition.
Brendan Rodgers has now led Celtic to the group stages of the Champions League for the second successive season, having been grouped against Barcelona, Manchester City and Borussia Monchengladbach last year.
With Celtic set to sign Patrick Roberts on loan from Manchester City this week, all eyes will now turn to whether Rodgers will strengthen their defensive and attacking options.
CELTIC (4-4-1-1) Gordon; Lustig, Ajer, Bitton, Tierney, Brown, Ntcham, Forrest (Ralston 56), Rogic, Sinclair (Armstrong 64), McGregor (Rogic 56), Griffiths
Not Used: De Vries, Gamboa, , Miller, Hayes,
FC ASTANA (4-4-1-1) Eric; Shitov, Anicic, Postnikov, Shomko, Maevski, Kleinheisler (Grahovac 12), Twumasi, Tomasov (Beysebekov 45), Muzhikov; Kabanaga
Not Used: Mokin, Tagybergen, Beysebekov, Maliy, Shaikhov, Murtazayev, Grahovac