Captain Callum McGregor believes victory over Feyenoord in their final Champions League game would be no more than Celtic deserved in a doomed campaign.

Lazio’s 2-0 triumph over the Hoops in Rome on Tuesday night confirmed last place in Group E for Brendan Rodgers’ side, who will not have European football of any kind in the second half of the season.

Substitute Ciro Immobile’s two late goals kept Celtic on one point from five fixtures before they host Feyenoord next month and McGregor believes it is vital that the Scottish champions, who will finish bottom in their Champions League group for the second straight year, finish on a high.

The Scotland midfielder told Celtic’s YouTube channel: “It’s massively important. If nothing else, we feel like we deserve it.

“We feel like we’ve played well enough to certainly have more than one point. So, if we get the result then it’s probably been deserved over the piece.

“Obviously we want to finish strong, we are at home, we want to get the crowd behind us and try to get them a little bit of hope for maybe next season’s competition as well.

“So there’s definitely a lot to play for, and when you put on a Celtic jersey you’re always playing for everything. So we will certainly be going into that last game trying to win and do everyone proud.”

Celtic gave as good as they got for most of the match until the classy Immobile struck in the 82nd and 85th minutes to keep the three points in the Italian capital.

The Hoops were awarded a penalty by referee Halil Umut Meler in added time for a push on substitute Oh Hyeon-gyu but it was rescinded when the VAR intervened and sent the Turkish official to the pitchside monitor for another look.

For McGregor, he has seen it all before.

He said: “We are gutted. A little bit of the same old story – play well, don’t take chances and then you get hit with a sucker-punch and the second one kills the game.

“It is tough to take because I think everyone can see that we are well in the game, controlling the tempo and the flow of the game. And to be honest, at some point, we have to try and win so you open up a little bit and you get done with good quality.

“I have been saying this all through the competition – you’re playing against top players. They bring on a top player and he scores two goals – two really good striker’s goals.

“We do really well for 60-65 minutes and, when the game maybe opens up or the game gets a little bit difficult, we then need to get to grips with the game and regain control and, again, that comes with experience.

“I think that’s been the difference. When teams have had the moments in games, they have scored.

“We have started really well in quite a lot of the games. Obviously when we go away in the first two games, we go down to nine men (at Feyenoord) and 10 men (at Atletico Madrid), which makes it almost impossible at this level. So there was another learning curve.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has told his players they need to create their own buzz at Parkhead after a flat afternoon against Motherwell.

With the Green Brigade ultras group still banned, the visiting fans were generally more audible than the home support during Saturday’s 1-1 draw.

Apart from David Turnbull’s goal, the biggest noise from Celtic fans was pre-match when the ultras group welcomed the team bus before heading away from the stadium.

Celtic struggled to break down a dogged Motherwell side, who had a similar amount of efforts at goal as their hosts in the first half.

It was one-way traffic for the vast majority of the second half but Luis Palma saw a penalty saved by Liam Kelly and Yang Hyun-jun missed a sitter before Jonathan Obika headed a last-minute equaliser four minutes after Turnbull converted Celtic’s second spot-kick.

Rodgers acknowledged there was a flat atmosphere but added: “There was probably that in the last game as well but we were winning 6-0, still the same. It is something on the pitch, we have to make it happen.

“We have enough of the ball, got into some really good areas, we just missed that final moment of combination play and that final moment of quality that allows you to get in front and opens the game up.

“The longer it goes 0-0, that gives Motherwell that enthusiasm to keep going.”

Celtic remained eight points clear with one more game played following the weekend’s action after second-placed Rangers drew at Aberdeen on Sunday.

Rodgers’ side now face Lazio in Rome with only a victory able to keep alive their slim hopes of progress in the Champions League.

“It is disappointing we have dropped two points, and we will look to get them back,” he said. “And now we have to recover and get ready with a really strong mindset for Tuesday. It is a fantastic game, highest level.”

With Palma suspended for the Rome trip and Daizen Maeda also unavailable, Rodgers is optimistic he will have James Forrest to bolster his wide options after the winger missed Saturday’s game.

“In the international break he had a problem with his glute so he hadn’t trained a lot,” Rodgers said. “So rather than sit on the bench he has some training days up until Tuesday and should be available for that.”

Motherwell collected only their third point from 10 matches and manager Stuart Kettlewell has challenged his side to use the well-drilled performance and late equaliser as a catalyst for improvement.

The Steelmen next face Dundee, Ross County and St Johnstone in the space of eight days.

“This has to become a benchmark for us, coming to a place like this and getting a result,” Kettlewell said.

“It has to be a milestone where we use it as a springboard and kick on and start to amass more points because it’s been a tough stretch for us.

“We have had good times and obviously had this bad run, but we now need to come out the other side of it and start to compete with teams that are probably in the ball park with ourselves.

“If we show that type of organisation and level of concentration then I think it gives us a chance against most.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers is still looking for answers to their penalty problem after Luis Palma missed from 12 yards in a 1-1 draw with Motherwell.

The Hoops missed three penalties last season and Palma followed David Turnbull and Reo Hatate in missing from the spot since Rodgers returned.

Turnbull did convert a penalty in the 86th minute after Palma went off, but Jonathan Obika headed a last-minute equaliser.

Palma scored from the spot against Aberdeen last time out, but Liam Kelly dived to his right to parry in the 66th minute and deny Celtic a platform to look for further goals.

Rodgers said: “I was looking before I came in here that there have been a number of penalties missed.

“These are decisive moments in games and you have to be ready to take them. You are never always going to be three, four, five up in games. You get that opportunity, you have to take it.

“It is something that the players who are going to be the penalty takers are working on every day.

“We have to stay focused on that because it is a skill. You can’t replicate the pressure, but penalties are a skill and a skill we have to be better at.

“The keeper’s made a decent save. It’s all about variety with penalty takers. I know he practised (on Friday), he didn’t go that side, he was working on the keeper’s left.

“But that is the choice he made. He is brave enough to take them.”

Rodgers felt the cinch Premiership leaders were missing “that little bit of freshness and zip in the final third” as they moved nine points ahead of Rangers, who have two games in hand.

He added:  “We should win the game. Obviously we had enough of the ball. We got into a lot of good areas and obviously (had) chances to be more comfortable. It is always a danger when you are not.

“But credit to Motherwell, they defended really well and we never had enough to break them down.

“But when we did get the opportunity to go in front then every moment after that is a decisive one. I think it was probably their only effort in the second half and we never defended it, which was a surprise because we have been defending set-pieces well.”

Motherwell manager Stuart Kettlewell did not feel Celtic should have had a second penalty after Calum Butcher was penalised for holding Mikey Johnston.

Kettlewell attended a meeting with the Scottish Football Association’s referees department on Thursday where it was explained that such incidents would only be punished if the attacking player has a chance of getting on the ball.

He said: “If the officials are telling me something when I go and sit for two-and-a-half hours with chief executives and managers when that exact incident came up in one of the clips and there were conversations around whether the player was going to get on the end of it and whether every contact in the box is a penalty.

“From the angle I’ve seen Calum Butcher is adamant he didn’t pull the jersey. His palm is resting on the waist.

“The guys from Celtic will maybe think it’s justified, but I think it’s incredibly soft.”

It was only Motherwell’s third point from 10 games and Kettlewell said: “It indicates to everyone how together we are as a football club and a group of players. They gave us absolutely everything out there.

“A lot of people will say we should be looking to be more progressive and to create more chances in the game. Well, that was everything that I asked of the players.

“Of course we want to try to win games, but to concede that second penalty and go behind we showed brilliant personality and character to get ourselves back into the game.”

Matt O’Riley believes Celtic need to use Kyogo Furuhashi even more after the Japan striker scored his ninth goal of the season in the 6-0 thrashing of Aberdeen on Sunday.

The Hoops went into the game on the back of a 6-0 Champions League defeat by Atletico Madrid on Tuesday but they blew the Dons away starting with South Korean forward Yang Hyun-jun’s first goal for the league leaders in the ninth minute.

Furuhashi was more than grateful that O’Riley set him up for the second soon after to take his goal ratio for club and country so far this season to almost one in two games.

Winger Luis Palma scored a penalty in the 76th minute and the Hoops struck three times in 10 added minutes at the end of the game, with Celtic substitutes David Turnbull and Oh Hyeon-gyu, twice, notching as Brendan Rodgers’ men restored their eight-point lead over Rangers at the top of the table.

O’Riley said of “nice man” Furuhashi, who had to go off with a head knock in the second half: “Me and him have a really good relationship on the pitch and I think probably 70 percent of the assists I have for Celtic have been for him, and that shows how good he is to play with, and how easy is to play with him.

“His movement’s top class. I actually think we need to use his runs a little bit more because his movement’s so good.

“He deserves the ball to be given to him because he works hard to create the space for himself. We need to keep utilising him because he’s our best goalscorer and that would be helpful going forwards.”

O’Riley described the response to the mauling in Madrid which left them bottom of their Champions League table as “perfect”, and believes such a convincing domestic result had been on the cards.

He said: “I think a result like that was pending in the league, to be honest.

“We’ve put in enough good performances and it was time – with the utmost respect – that we gave someone a real doing.

“There were a lot of chances created and it could’ve been more. It was needed.

“I shanked one from about three yards, so was a questionable finish.

“But we were on it right from the start with our runs in behind. We let them know they were going to be in for a game right from the start and we maintained that level throughout.

“We tire teams out, the way we play. And I think when you are 3-0 down at Celtic Park and you have been running for 90 minutes and haven’t had much of the ball, naturally you are going to be tired.

“The spaces do open up and we had boys coming off the bench for the last half hour ready to fire. James (Forrest), and then Bull (David Turnbull) comes on and scores. I think having that strength in depth to come on and really push the fitness levels, it is hard for teams to live with.”

Brendan Rodgers praised his Celtic side for quickly erasing their Champions League pain with a 6-0 thrashing of Aberdeen at Parkhead.

The Hoops were chastened by a 6-0 defeat to Atletico Madrid in their Champions League group stage game in Spain on Tuesday night, where they ended up with 10 men following the dismissal of Daizen Maeda and bottom of the table.

However, they blitzed an abject Dons side in their cinch Premiership encounter, with South Korean forward Yang Hyun-jun scoring his first Celtic goal in the ninth minute before Japan striker Kyogo Furuhashi added a second seven minutes later in an utterly dominant first half.

Winger Luis Palma scored from the spot in the 76th minute and in 10 added minutes at the end of the game, the home side scored three goals, with substitutes David Turnbull and Oh Hyeon-gyu, twice, on target as Celtic restored their eight-point lead over Rangers at the top of the table.

“I said to the players before the game, throughout your footballing season and life you have painful points, but how you respond is where you are judged,” said Rodgers, who revealed Furuhashi would not be travelling to Japan this week to stay behind for treatment for a head knock which saw him taken off.

“If you look after St Johnstone here (0-0) we go to Rangers and win, after Feyenoord away (0-2) we go to Livingston and win.

“Obviously we had a challenging game in midweek just because of the circumstances.

“It is then how you respond today. I thought the players responded so well. They’ve done great in the game, created numerous opportunities.

“Look at Aberdeen’s record, especially away from home. Look at how tough they are to beat. They go to Frankfurt and do well, they go to Rangers and win.

“So they are a team who are tough to play against. But I thought our players today were absolutely fantastic. They showed some great football, great movement, great connection in the team. I was so pleased for them.”

It was a fifth successive away game for the Dons but after the hard-fought 2-2 draw against PAOK on Thursday night in Greece, Barry Robson was not for making excuses and admitted that he was “massively surprised” by the result.

He said: “You can look for excuses, but I’m not having that. Yes, we all know where we have been, but we still can’t come here and perform like that. So I’m not having that, either.

“It was a result I never saw coming at all. That is the biggest surprise, I never saw that coming.

“I am just angry because it is not us as a team. You have to learn that you can’t leave yourselves open, you have to learn to shut the back door and not lose more goals.

“I just think the first 15 minutes, we were not at it. We didn’t get close to anyone. Never put a tackle in and, as the half went on, got slightly better.

“Half-time, we tweaked a few tactical things and thought we started to look a lot better in the second half and then lost the penalty.

“And then I thought after that Celtic ran away with it and it was not good enough.

“Once you lose that third goal, you have got to get a structure, you’ve got to stay in the fight  and we just looked too open. It looked like they could score every time.”

Celtic forward Daizen Maeda faces six weeks out after suffering a knee injury in the challenge that earned him a red card against Atletico Madrid.

Maeda was initially booked following a 50-50 with Mario Hermoso but the yellow card was upgraded to a red following a VAR review.

The Japan attacker had left a leg dangling and Hermoso went down in dramatic fashion after catching Maeda’s studs as he followed through.

Manager Brendan Rodgers said: “Daizen will probably be up to six weeks out with the injury from the challenge. He has strained his medial knee ligament which comes from when you just knock a player on the foot.

“If he was in stronger in the challenge he probably wouldn’t have had the injury. The clash of feet has just opened up the knee ligament.

“It’s a big shame for us because he has been brilliant for me since I came here.

“It’s a big loss because his attitude and mentality going into every game is superb. He initiates the pressure for us at the top end.

“It’s a real shame because he has been like a machine since he came to Celtic, watching him before I arrived and then coming here and seeing what he does every day and in the games, he is incredible. He hasn’t had too many knocks.

“But I always say, it’s an opportunity for someone else to come in and play.”

The injury blow compounded Rodgers’ frustration with the decision to send Maeda off in the 6-0 Champions League defeat.

“You only have to assess the incident. Everyone could see if you know football at all that there was no intention, he was just overstretching and both players clash feet,” he said.

“The irony is that as soon as the red card went up, their player miraculously got up off the floor.”

Liam Scales admits Celtic need to be more streetwise in Europe.

Brendan Rodgers’ side have been very competitive with a full quota of players in the Champions League but three red cards in four games have proved costly.

Daizen Maeda’s dismissal in Spain on Tuesday led to a 6-0 defeat by Atletico Madrid, which leaves Celtic bottom of Group E with one point and in need of wins over Lazio and Feyenoord and favours from Diego Simeone’s team.

Centre-back Scales, who has not been booked in the Champions League, said of the red cards: “It’s probably that we are a young team and maybe a bit naive at times.

“You come and play in Europe and the referees, you get nothing out of them. They are a lot stricter and tackles that you might get away with domestically, they give.

“With VAR, you are going to pick up red cards in the way we’ve been doing.

“It’s frustrating, because I think with 11 players on the pitch we had started the game quite well.

“I know we had conceded earlier before the red card, but I thought we had quite a bit of the ball, and it definitely would have been a more even game with 11 men.”

Scales also believes they need to learn from the animated reaction of the Atletico bench when Maeda made his tackle and was initially booked, before VAR intervened.

Scales said: “To be honest, you see the way they react and all of their staff are up off the bench. It definitely doesn’t help.

“The VAR screen is right beside their bench as well, and he (the referee) was probably feeling the pressure.

“They are definitely more street-smart than us, that’s for sure, the way they influence the referee.

“It’s not the nicest part of the game, but it helps them win games and we could definitely learn from it.”

The manner of defeat has led to some soul-searching among the Celtic support about their level in European football but Scales pointed out they had drawn with Atletico two weeks earlier.

“I think we’re at the level, it’s just naivety and poor decisions at times have let us down,” the Republic of Ireland international said.

“Some of the goals, we could have defended better, we need to look back on that and see what we could have done better defensively.

“But it’s still difficult with 10 men away from home to get results at any level, and especially there.”

Celtic now travel to Rome needing a win on November 28.

“There’s a few games left in the group and now it’s just about bouncing back and doing as well as we can, because the Lazio game was so tight and it could have gone either way, and we feel that we can go there and get a result,” Scales said.

“It’s the same with Feyenoord at home. We were doing well in Feyenoord up until the couple of red cards, and the same happened here.

“I think we just have to bounce back, that’s it.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers likened modern football to a “computer game” after claiming Daizen Maeda was sent off following a needless VAR intervention in his side’s 6-0 defeat by Atletico Madrid.

Maeda saw a yellow card upgraded to red following a VAR review midway through the first half at the Estadio Metropolitano, but Rodgers felt referee made the right call initially.

The Japanese attacker dangled a leg in a 50-50 challenge with Mario Hermoso, who hurt himself as he followed through.

Celtic were already trailing to a deflected strike from Antoine Griezmann and Atletico took full advantage of the numerical superiority. Griezmann and Alvaro Morata both struck doubles, while Samuel Lino and Saul Niguez also scored as Atletico hit a string of spectacular second-half goals.

Rodgers said: “I think the red card is a big turning point. We started well, started with confidence, got into some really good areas. We then get a man sent off early, which was a huge disappointment because I didn’t feel it was a red card.

“When you watch the re-run, both players kick each other’s feet. The referee saw that in game time and then he is asked to look at it.

“The first image he sees is not representative of the actual challenge. You plant a seed when the first image he sees is Daizen Maeda’s foot up, but that wasn’t the challenge and it’s a really, really soft red card.

“For a team coming here with 11 against 11, you would need to be at your real max to get something out the game and losing a man early, it becomes a real challenge and we tire and they scored some fantastic goals.”

Rodgers was angered by the reaction of the Atletico bench after the Maeda challenge, with boss Diego Simeone and six or seven colleagues racing into the technical area to remonstrate.

He said: “They will play the game, they are obviously trying to get our player sent off.

“Listen, it’s still up to the ref. You come away in Europe and a place like this where it’s an emotional stadium, everyone will add pressure.

“The ref saw it in game time and didn’t deem it worthy of anything so serious, but it just feels like a computer game now, football. So many visits to the screen, so many influences in the game.

“As time has gone on you see the influence of VAR and the difficulties referees have. There’s a lot of judgements going on away from the field.

“It’s not so much the technology, but how it is implemented. It’s not something I enjoy.

“When it first came out I was very much wanting to support it and hoped it would improve the game, because I think everyone thought the utopia of VAR would mean we would lose all these bad decisions.

“But you could argue there’s even more now. There’s a good percentage where it just doesn’t feel right in the game.”

Rodgers maintained a 4-3-2 formation after the red card, with Oh Hyeon-gyu coming on at half-time.

“You have seen my teams enough back home,” he said. “Whenever we lose a man it’s having that structure.

“Listen, you can have any structure you want, it can be very, very difficult against that level of opponent. It just didn’t work for us so we have to take our medicine.”

Celtic remain bottom of Group E but are still not eliminated from the Champions League, although they will need to beat both Lazio and Feyenoord and hope Atletico do them some favours to stay in Europe beyond Christmas.

Rodgers said: “We knew we had to take something from this game, but with Lazio winning as well, our objective with two games to go is to get points and see if we can improve on last season’s points total.”

Brendan Rodgers hailed Celtic’s traditional never-say-die spirit following their late 2-1 cinch Premiership win over St Mirren at Parkhead.

Saints attacker Conor McMenamin headed the visitors in front in the seventh minute but returning Hoops midfielder David Turnbull levelled in the 18th minute with a fine strike before hitting the post with a penalty just before the half-hour mark.

The league leaders kept chipping away in the second half and eventually got their reward in the 83rd minute when South Korean attacker Oh Hyeon-gyu took a pass from fellow substitute Odin Thiago Holm and fired high past excellent Buddies goalkeeper Zach Hemming.

The Celtic boss smiled as he said: “It was coming.”

He added: “Listen, it’s one of those ones – you know the game lasts 90 plus minutes so you trust your team.

“They’ve scored late goals already this season. It’s the make-up of this club to keep going and persevere.

“I was really just pleased with the quality of the winning goal. We saw that at Motherwell when we got that winner (Matt O’Riley) late on.

“With 80-odd minutes on the clock here, you can start to panic but we worked the ball really well.

“The goal was terrific. Of course you can never be sure but I trust the team that they will keep going until the end and when you do that opportunities will come.

“It’s part of the value of this team – that ability to keep going. When you bring in players you are always looking for players who have that resilience in their make-up.

“It’s part of what you do when you recruit a player. When you play for a club like this one, there’s no choice – you keep fighting, you keep running and allow your quality to come through and that’s exactly what happened.

“We had a penalty and Kyogo (Furuhashi) had a chance as well. So we could have been more comfortable in the scoreline.

“At 2-1, you just want to grind it out and get the result.”

It was Oh’s first goal of the season and Rodgers was pleased for the South Korean.

Rodgers said: “It was a great finish. Nice little very combination with Kyogo and Odin can shoot if he’s selfish. But he plays a lovely pass in and the big guy takes his touch and it’s a wonderful finish.

“I’m really pleased for him. For the guys who aren’t playing so much, you always have to recognise and acknowledge their efforts which I did with them.

“He looks after his body, his diet, everything is superb. He’s so professional, he looks at his training and he knows when asked upon he can come in and make an impact. And what an impact.”

St Mirren remain in third place and boss Stephen Robinson also praised his side as he acknowledged the quality of Celtic’s goals.

He said: “We got beat by a fantastic goal. Sometime you look for fault but it was a fantastic goal and so was the first one.

“Defensively we were excellent, Zach Hemming made three fantastic saves.

“I have nothing but credit and praise for the players.

“To be disappointed shows we have come a long way but we are a good side and I have a lot of confidence in these players.

“We got beat by quality but in terms of where we want to go it was a big statement in terms of performance.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers hailed his side’s “terrific performance” after a 2-2 Champions League draw with Atletico Madrid.

Celtic twice took the lead in the first half through Kyogo Furuhashi and Luis Palma, who netted shortly after Antoine Griezmann had netted the rebound from his own penalty.

Celtic played with pace, purpose and confidence in the first half and both goals came after excellent moves, but they could not keep up the tempo after the break and Alvaro Morata levelled eight minutes into the second half.

Rodgers said: “I thought it was a terrific performance, especially the first 45 minutes – the quality of our football, the speed in our pressing and in our game, everything we would want.

“We were unfortunate with the penalty. One, it was very harsh, and, two, they got the good fortune after the save hits the post and comes straight to the player.

“But our reaction was superb, everything I wanted in terms of playing together, pressing and the intensity and a really aggressive mentality and then having the courage to play.

“We expected them second half to have a spell in the game but they didn’t create so much. Their equaliser was fantastic, the early cross and great finish.

“But we kept fighting and showed we can compete with a top-level team.

“It will give us confidence to know we can create opportunities and play the football we want to play. The team pressed the game well and passed it for a lot of the game.”

Rodgers, who revealed Reo Hatate had suffered a hamstring injury, which forced him off for Paulo Bernardo inside seven minutes, admitted it was difficult to maintain the intensity for 90 minutes.

Celtic never looked like taking the lead for a third time, despite Atletico going down to 10 men in the 82nd minute.

He added: “There’s a wee bit of tiredness that comes in the last 20 minutes because we are not used to playing at that tempo and against that level of opponent, so naturally a wee bit of fatigue kicks in. We also had to make an early sub with Reo’s injury.

“It was a really big performance but we couldn’t quite get the result we were looking for.”

Celtic are bottom of the group with one point from three games ahead of trips to Madrid and Lazio, the latter of whom have four points.

Rodgers said: “We wanted to get three points but if you can’t get the win then don’t lose it, and I don’t think we looked like losing. I can see development for sure.

“We have shown we can perform and we go into the other three trying to get as many points as we can and see where it takes us.”

Atletico manager Diego Simeone admitted his side had struggled to deal with Celtic in the first half.

“As expected, they started really well, as they did in their first two games,” he said.

“We really struggled to contain them early on and they scored with their first attack. We managed to respond but they quickly scored a fantastic goal.

“The first half didn’t go as we would have liked but I was really pleased with the second half, it was a real Champions League performance. We showed a lot of personality and responsibility.”

Simeone, who brought on Marcos Llorente and Rodrigo Riquelme at half-time, added: “In the first half we didn’t have the speed the game required, we weren’t up to scratch and they combined well in our half.

“But the subs had a big impact and we had better solutions in our passing game.”

Celtic twice lost a lead as they gained their first Champions League point in a 2-2 home draw with 10-man Atletico Madrid.

Kyogo Furuhashi got Celtic off to a flying start with his second goal in two Champions League games and Luis Palma quickly restored Celtic’s lead after Antoine Griezmann scored following his own saved penalty.

Celtic were deservedly on course for a first Champions League group-stage home win in 10 years following a first-half display full of pace and purpose but they started slowly after the break and Alvaro Morata levelled inside eight minutes of the restart.

The Scottish champions never rediscovered their spark – even after Atletico went down to 10 men in the 82nd minute – and their run without a home win at this level is now at 12 games.

Feyenoord’s win over Lazio left Celtic three points adrift of the Italians at the bottom of Group E, halfway through the campaign with trips to Spain and Rome to follow.

The build-up to the game had been dominated by internal and external strife.

Thousands of Celtic fans defied the club before kick-off by displaying Palestine flags, an act which will inevitably lead to UEFA sanctions.

Atletico’s decision to dispense with their striped shirts and wear an all-red top based on the one worn by the team that beat Celtic in the 1974 European Cup semi-finals also opened old wounds.

Two of the team that gained a goalless first-leg draw at Parkhead had travelled with the current side but the tribute did not go down well among the Celtic support given Atletico had three men sent off and seven others booked in that brutal encounter.

Furuhashi ignited the highly-charged atmosphere inside four minutes following a one-touch move. The Japan international twice exchanged passes with Matt O’Riley before taking a touch and slotting home from six yards.

There was a blow for Brendan Rodgers moments later when Reo Hatate went off injured. The Celtic manager brought on 21-year-old midfielder Paulo Bernardo, who is yet to start a game since his loan move from Benfica.

The home side remained positive, roared on by the crowd as they pressed Atletico high up the park, but the visitors levelled in the 25th minute after Greg Taylor was penalised for a trip on Nahuel Molina.

Joe Hart saved Griezmann’s penalty at full stretch but the France international dispatched the rebound.

Taylor atoned three minutes later when he played a searching ball beyond right-back Molina which sent Daizen Maeda in behind. The resulting cross found fellow winger Palma and the Honduran took a touch and rifled a shot in off the post.

Palma had been denied a late goal against Lazio three weeks ago by a marginal VAR ruling and an offside decision soon went Celtic’s way after Axel Witsel headed home from a set-piece.

O’Riley had earlier threatened with a first-time strike which was met with a diving save as Celtic continued to attack with verve.

Diego Simeone made two half-time changes and substitute Marcos Llorente vindicated his introduction within eight minutes as he crossed for Morata to equalise with a diving header.

Morata and Llorente both threatened and Rodgers responded by bringing on centre-back Nat Phillips for Palma and changing formation.

Atletico continued to boss possession and Celtic were contributing to their difficulties with some slack passing. Hart saved well from Morata after the Spain international turned Cameron Carter-Vickers.

Celtic got a lifeline when Argentinian midfielder Rodrigo de Paul received a second yellow card following a sliding tackle on Bernardo.

Substitute James Forrest shot not far over but Celtic could not seriously trouble the 10 men.

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers hailed his players for meeting their Tynecastle challenge with some “wonderful football” in a 4-1 win over Hearts.

The cinch Premiership leaders restored their seven-point lead with a largely dominant display in front of 576 of their own fans in a reduced allocation and more than 17,000 Hearts supporters.

Matt O’Riley volleyed his sixth goal of the season inside four minutes and Celtic remained in control. Daizen Maeda and Kyogo Furuhashi netted before the 51st minute and Reo Hatate hit the post with a penalty.

Lawrence Shankland pulled one back in the 64th minute but substitute Tomoki Iwata fired his first goal for Celtic to kill off any slim hopes of a comeback.

Rodgers said: “It was important that we started the game well, and try to bring an energy and speed to the game which would make it difficult for Hearts, because I have been here enough times to know that if you don’t make a good start here it can be a challenge.

“But the players played some wonderful football and worked ever so hard.”

Celtic have now won six consecutive league matches and appear to be finding more fluidity in their play.

Rodgers said: “It’s a constant evolution, there’s not a destination to where we want to go, it’s just continual improvement and finding levels and the big thing is consistency.

“It’s obviously a very difficult ground to come to but I love challenges like this, coming to really hostile environments because it’s an opportunity for you to show your value as a team, dealing with difficult circumstances, and the players dealt with it ever so well.

“The only criticism is we could have scored more goals and managed the ball a bit better after we scored the fourth goal, so we didn’t have to run so much.

“But overall, after an international break, where a lot of these guys were a wee bit heavy-legged towards the end, a lot of travel, what they gave the game was absolutely brilliant.”

Hearts manager Steven Naismith bemoaned his side’s start and the way they allowed Celtic chances.

Naismith started with a positive line-up with Kenneth Vargas told to run beyond Shankland and Alan Forrest and Alex Lowry supporting the front players. But their chances when undermined when O’Riley ran away from marker Calem Nieuwenhof and volleyed home Luis Palma’s lofted pass.

“We gave up really sloppy goals,” said Naismith, whose team let slip a two-goal lead against Hibernian in their previous match.

“That’s the last two games that the goals we conceded are not at the level where we should be at and want to be at. How sloppy they were and when we concede them is mental.

“It doesn’t give you a chance to get into the game when you lose a goal after three minutes. And that was the theme throughout the game, the goals are avoidable.

“Our intensity when we are pressing and closing down wasn’t good enough and in the game there are split-seconds when players are making decisions and ultimately they are going to decide if it’s a good action or bad action. Every goal we picked the wrong action.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has called for a minimum percentage of away supporters to be enshrined in league rules as he prepares to take his team to what will be an even more hostile atmosphere inside Tynecastle.

Celtic will have 576 fans in attendance for Sunday’s game against Hearts with the home club keen to get more of their own supporters inside the ground following rising demand for tickets in recent years.

The allocation is less than half of what Celtic received in their previous visit and a continuation of a trend.

Rodgers was used to seeing the Roseburn Stand half full of Celtic supporters in his first spell in charge, which included his first domestic game as manager and the game where his side clinched his first title. But previously Celtic fans occupied the whole of the stand behind the goal.

The likes of Aberdeen, Hearts and Hibernian previously took bigger supports to Glasgow too but they have long been restricted to less than two per cent of Celtic Park and Ibrox in allocations measured in hundreds.

The Tynecastle allocation has continued debate over away allocations which has been most starkly felt when Celtic face Rangers in recent seasons.

The tradition of handing about 7,500 tickets to the away team was abandoned by Rangers and fears over the safety of an away following in the hundreds have meant the fixture has been home fans only in recent matches.

The likes of Aberdeen, St Mirren and Kilmarnock have also cut the allocations for Celtic and Rangers fans in recent seasons.

The issue will likely be revisited ahead of Celtic’s New Year derby with Rangers likely to be rebuffed in their request for tickets after the Hoops won at Ibrox earlier this season with no fans present.

Scottish Professional Football League rules are currently vague, stating that a home club must provide tickets for a “reasonable number of visiting supporters…. as may be agreed in advance with the visiting club”. The SPFL board will determine the number if no agreement is reached but that situation has never occurred.

Rodgers accepted Hearts’ right to cut the allocation but he hopes the rules can be made clearer for everyone’s benefit, echoing similar calls from his Hearts counterpart Steven Naismith.

“Every club has got every right at this moment in time, to issue what they want to give to away supporters,” the Celtic manager said.

“Until there is something standardised, Hearts are more than willing to do that.

“Of course as a Celtic manager I love to see more supporters in there of course because they come from all over the place to follow their team.

“But hopefully we can standardise a certain percentage for away supporters and that allows all the supporters of all the teams to be able to go and watch their teams.

“Around some of the grounds, in my first time here and even now…the idea is, of course, if there is more away allocation it allows the ground to be filled, and obviously to give money and resources to the away team, then of course we would like to be able to do that.

“But I also understand it from a football perspective why maybe you wouldn’t want so many away supporters in.

“But hopefully the federation can standardise a number and then we all know where we stand.”

Rodgers backed his team to handle the atmosphere.

“Any team playing away, it’s always nice to have a fairly large group of your supporters there to give you that backing but if they are not there, then we can’t use that as an excuse,” he said.

“We have shown already with no supporters that we can get big results. We will be very much together and the 500-odd supporters that will be there, hopefully we can give them a good day.”

Brendan Rodgers believes Luis Palma is gradually becoming more accustomed to the demands of playing for Celtic.

The Honduran scored his team’s second goal in the 3-1 win over Kilmarnock in what was his first Premiership start since arriving from Aris Thessaloniki in August.

Rodgers felt it was unrealistic to expect new signings to be “perfect right away” and revealed he was looking only for incremental improvement.

The Celtic manager said: “The players at the top end of the pitch have to create and score goals, that’s their contribution.

“But Luis is settling in very well. These guys are coming from different climates and cultures.

“People feel the need for them to be perfect right away. I don’t, it’s all about adaptability.

“If they feed into the club’s winning mentality, they’ll improve here.

“You see with Palma, he’s getting better game by game. He was excellent today and scored a very good goal.

“He was dangerous. He played his part in a very good collective performance.”

Kilmarnock got a goal back through David Watson with the score at 2-0, but Rodgers believed a foul should have been awarded in the build-up.

He added: “We had the ball on the edge of the box, Greg Taylor was manhandled by their guy to the ground and we didn’t get a foul.

“The VAR only started when the play went forward. They scored from the position Greg would have been in.

“I don’t like talking about referees, but we’ve now got a whole team of people looking at it. The ref doesn’t see it, he had his back to the play. By the time he turned around, the foul was committed.

“But a guy on the line can see it, like me. On top of that, there’s a VAR team watching it with a cup of tea and no drama. They still didn’t see it.”

Celtic had a penalty award overturned by the VAR following a coming-together between Reo Hatate and Watson.

Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes – who would not address speculation linking him with the Rangers managerial vacancy – felt the Japanese midfielder had embellished any contact.

He said: “My first thought was that Hatate has gone down far too easily. For me, he’s waiting for contact. But I don’t think there was any contact. If I’m wrong then I’ll apologise.

“But for me, it’s trying to buy a penalty and the referee has bought it as I thought he would. I thought, ‘he’s going to give a penalty here’ and he did.

“My heart sank and then VAR overturned it. But that’s far too easy to go down, far too easy from Hatate. That’s poor.”

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers praised his players’ resolve in their 3-1 win over Kilmarnock.

Goals from Reo Hatate, Luis Palma and Greg Taylor sent the champions seven points clear at the top of the cinch Premiership and made David Watson’s strike – that made it 2-1 – no more than a consolation.

Rodgers admitted there had been a period of “grieving” following the midweek Champions League defeat to Lazio but credited the squad for not letting it affect them upon their return to league duty.

He said: “I’m really pleased with the performance today off the back of the game during the week.

“We could all touch the pain of that result because our display didn’t merit it.

“But it’s about how you respond. You grieve for 24 hours, I sensed it from everyone, the players and the supporters. But you need to show strength of mentality to get back to winning again.

“We showed that today because we switched back to perform well today. The players deserve credit for that.”

Hatate’s goal crowned an excellent individual performance and Rodgers revealed he had sat down with the Japan international earlier in the week to speak about his intensity levels.

He added: “This was the first game that Reo has come alive for me. He has to press the game and when he is at that level, then he is intense with the ball. He scored a brilliant goal and he was superb.

“I went through things with him the other day. If he wants to get to the highest level, there needs to be more intensity in his game. I took him through clips of his game, all without the ball.

“If you press the game well you will pass it well. But he took it on board, was very open and produced a fantastic performance today. That’s the level, you can’t switch the engine on and off.”

Kilmarnock manager Derek McInnes felt that Celtic’s second goal, scored by Palma via a ricochet off Hatate, should have been ruled out.

He said: “Having seen the pictures for me it looks offside in the build-up when it bounces back off the Celtic player. So I’m disappointed with that as offside should be clear.

“When I saw it on the big screen I thought he was offside and when VAR were checking it I was expecting it to be chopped off.

“There might be better pictures in the VAR hub so any criticism of that at the minute is a wee bit contained as I’m just viewing it on the pictures that I’ve seen.

“I showed the referee the pictures that I’d seen. But they’re obviously dependent on the people in VAR looking at different angles.

“I saw an angle on my analyst’s laptop. Whether he’s a computer genius and has played around with the lines I don’t know. But it looked offside.”

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