Brendan Rodgers' blunt Celtic words for sloppy Reo Hatate as midfielder criticised

Celtic's Reo Hatate and Rangers' Mohamed Diomande
Celtic's Reo Hatate and Rangers' Mohamed Diomande -Credit:SNS Group

Brendan Rodgers celebrated his 150th win as Celtic manager yesterday as he put one hand on the Premiership trophy.

Yet despite ending Rangers' title dreams for another year, the Northern Irishman was completely happy with his own team's performance. Matt O'Riley's goal and a John Lundstram OG all but wrapped up three-in-a-row for the champions as Philippe Clement's chasers were put to the sword at Parkhead.

But after going 2-0 up, Rodgers believes his side were guilty of a lapse of concentration as Cyriel Dessers pegged one back before half-time. Lundstram was also sent for an early bath just before the break for a wild lunge on Alistair Johnston, leaving the visitors with an uphill battle. O'Riley missed the chance to put the game to bed from the penalty spot soon after the interval and Rodgers detected his side taking the foot off the gas - setting up a nervy ending.

Reo Hatate was subbed off for Tomoki Iwata on the 80th minute and Rodgers had some blunt words for the Japanese playmaker, who was sloppy in possession.

He said: "I was really pleased up until we missed the penalty. Our energy, speed and tempo - as well as the quality of our football - was very good. We had a few chances to score before we did then we got a fantastic goal from Matty.

"At 2-0 we switched off and lost concentration. That gave them something in the game. In the second half we started well but missed the penalty. And it's something I've said to the players as part of our progress. At 11 v 10, as we've been a few times this season, I don't like it. We're not good at it.

"There shouldn't be that tension at the end of a game when you have so much control. That's about being clinical. It was a hot day and the players gave everything. But at 2-1, anything can happen against 10 or nine men. There were long balls into the box but we stood up to it magnificently. Come the end it was a great three points for us.

"My message at 2-1 was just to keep the ball and manage the game. That's why Reo came off. He's a big talent but he gives it away too much for my liking. As a midfielder you have to control the game. You have to show love for the ball and take care of it. It was too loose and sloppy. The game became more tense than it should have been.

"We missed a penalty to make it 3-1 and that's a game that could have ended up 5-1 or 6-1. That's the downside but if you win a game against Rangers the upsides are much greater."