Celtic 5-1 Motherwell: Odsonne Edouard outstanding - Brendan Rodgers

Odsonne Edouard celebrates a goal against Motherwell with manager Brendan Rodgers
Edouard, making only his seventh appearance for Celtic, celebrates one of his hat-trick of goals with manager Brendan Rodgers

Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers praised an "exceptional" display by Odsonne Edouard after the French 19-year-old's hat-trick in a 5-1 rout of Motherwell.

Edouard, on loan from Paris Saint-Germain, took his tally for Celtic to four goals on only his third start.

Substitute James Forrest grabbed a late brace as the champions' unbeaten domestic run reached 67 matches.

"Young Odsonne was top class. Take away his goals and his overall game was at a really high level," Rodgers said.

"He scored three goals, could have had five, he was absolutely exceptional.

"I felt we needed more mobility at the top end of the field, we were a wee bit static the other night [in a 1-1 draw at Motherwell]. I felt his speed and movement could hurt their centre-halves, in front of them and in behind.

"This boy is a great mover, he's flexible, his touch is good and when it's played up to him, he's strong.

"He could have been playing a long time ago but you have to respect the other boys [strikers Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths] and how they've performed.

"He's kept plugging away in training, he's getting better in training and you see his quality today. His touch, his movement to create a goal for James.

"For a kid that's hardly played, he lasted the 90 minutes and that's testament to his fitness and his work-rate. He's an outstanding player that's been unfortunate not to be involved as much, but he took his chance today."

James Forrest celebrates a goal against Motherwell
James Forrest scored his ninth and 10th goals of a productive season

Rodgers also hailed the performances of two other fringe players - "outstanding" centre-back Kristoffer Ajer and the "excellent" midfielder Olivier Ntcham - while winger Jonny Hayes also enjoyed perhaps his finest game for Celtic to date.

"I think the scoreline reflected our dominance in the game," he added on BBC Radio Scotland. "We controlled the game very well, created chances.

"We gave away a disappointing goal we shouldn't concede, but their reaction - how they stayed calm and continued to play their football - was always going to allow them to create more chances.

"We end up with five, we had other opportunities to make it more, and it's great tribute to the whole team how they were very much focused against a committed Motherwell team."

Celtic face a vital final Champions League group game against Anderlecht on Tuesday, knowing anything better than a three-goal defeat will be enough to progress to the Europa League knock-out rounds.

Rodgers played down an injury to Scott Sinclair, who tried to run off an ankle knock after a heavy fall, before he was substituted. The manager had earlier confirmed that fellow winger Patrick Roberts could be out for up to three months with a hamstring injury.

"It looked a sore one, but he kept running and working," Rodgers added. "We will see how that is tomorrow but hopefully it should be fine."

Scott Sinclair holds his left ankle
Scott Sinclair appeared in pain after landing heavily on his ankle

Motherwell boss Stephen Robinson was dismayed his side could not muster the same intensity they showed in their two previous meetings with Celtic in the past week.

"We lost the game in the first half," he told BBC Scotland. "Celtic outplayed us, but the disappointing thing was that they outfought us as well in the first half. It is the first time since I have been involved that we looked like we hadn't come to compete.

"We tried to change it second half and got back to 2-1 and had a couple of half-chances. But you always leave yourself open with the quality of player they have coming off the bench.

"We got what we deserved out of the game - nothing. Maybe it is a lesson for us. We don't have the luxury Celtic have of bringing in six quality players but maybe we should have made more changes and freshened it up completely.

"We looked jaded in the first half and allowed them to play. But we will give the players a couple of days off and then get back to basics on Tuesday.

"We have had a decent season to to now and we have to make sure this doesn't derail us."

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