Match ends, RSC Anderlecht 0, Celtic 3.
RSC Anderlecht 0-3 Celtic
Celtic ended their run of 16 European group games without a win as goals by Leigh Griffiths, Patrick Roberts and Scott Sinclair saw off Anderlecht.
The win moves Celtic level with Bayern Munich in Group B, and establishes a crucial advantage over Anderlecht.
Griffiths' opener was created by a fine passing move involving Olivier Ntcham and Kieran Tierney.
Kara Mbodji inadvertently deflected Roberts' shot in after the break then Sinclair crashed in a late third.
The only setback for Celtic was the departure of captain Scott Brown during the second half, the midfielder limping off with what appeared to be a hamstring injury.
He could now be a doubt for Scotland's World Cup qualifying double header against Slovakia and Slovenia, but for Celtic this was their first away shut-out in the Champions League group stage.
Celtic began nervously, and for the opening 25 minutes they couldn't hold on to the ball, their passing letting them down hugely. From Ntcham to Roberts, they coughed up possession constantly and invited Anderlecht on to them.
The saving grace was that the Belgian side, beleaguered in their domestic league, were nowhere near good enough to take advantage.
Celtic settled when the goal came - and it was a beauty, a study in accurate and clinical football, the polar opposite of what had gone before.
It began with Ntcham, who delivered a gorgeously weighted pass to Tierney, scampering down the left flank. The timing of the pass and the run were exquisite, as was Tierney's driven cross to Griffiths, who had cleverly peeled away from Olivier Deschacht in the box.
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Three touches and one goal. Ruthless. Celtic were up and running. They had a few scares before the break, Sofiane Hanni and Lukasz Teodorczyk both going close for Anderlecht, and just after the restart Hanni again gave Celtic goalkeeper Craig Gordon an anxious moment.
In the main, though, this was comfortable and it became a joy for the visiting support when Celtic doubled their lead.
The skies above Brussels caved in on the hosts six minutes after the break. Celtic's second was a calamity for Anderlecht, a series of self-inflicted wounds that added up to a goal.
Leander Dendoncker played a seriously unwise pass across his penalty area to Deschacht who was extraordinarily lax in dealing with it while under pressure from Roberts.
Deschacht merely flicked his foot at it and presented it to Roberts who ran in on goal. Roberts got a shot away that the Anderlecht goalkeeper Frank Boeckx looked capable of dealing with until Mbodji deflected the ball into his own net.
Celtic threatened again. Roberts had a chance and then Callum McGregor, on as a substitute, couldn't make the most of it when Anderlecht were short on numbers at the back.
Anderlecht came back into it but they couldn't break the visitors' resolve. Rodgers' team were mature in shutting the game down.
There was even a flourish at the end when the third came, Dendoncker presenting the ball to Sinclair, who went on to beat Boeckx with a terrific finish.
A huge night for Celtic, one that gives them a long-awaited victory and some precious momentum. It also gives them a massive advantage over Anderlecht in terms of the battle for third place and the spot in the Europa League that goes with it.
Celtic might still have dreams of second place, but this will go a long way to ensuring that whatever happens here on in, the Scottish champions are the hottest of favourites to earn European football in the new year.
- 5SpajicSubstituted forKaraat 44'minutes
- 3DeschachtSubstituted forStanciuat 58'minutes
- 94HanniSubstituted forBrunoat 70'minutes
- 41Sowah Adjei
- 8BrownSubstituted forBittonat 70'minutes
- 7RobertsSubstituted forForrestat 78'minutes
- 18RogicSubstituted forMcGregorat 65'minutes
- 24de Vries
- Jesús Gil Manzano
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, RSC Anderlecht 0, Celtic 3.
Goal! RSC Anderlecht 0, Celtic 3. Scott Sinclair (Celtic) left footed shot from the left side of the box to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Olivier Ntcham.
Foul by Leigh Griffiths (Celtic).
Adrien Trebel (RSC Anderlecht) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Jozo Simunovic (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht).
Offside, RSC Anderlecht. Alexandru Chipciu tries a through ball, but Henry Onyekuru is caught offside.
Callum McGregor (Celtic) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Adrien Trebel (RSC Anderlecht).
Attempt missed. Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht) header from the left side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Pieter Gerkens with a cross.
Foul by Dedryck Boyata (Celtic).
Lukasz Teodorczyk (RSC Anderlecht) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Mikael Lustig (Celtic) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Dennis Appiah (RSC Anderlecht).
Attempt missed. Leigh Griffiths (Celtic) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Callum McGregor.
Substitution, Celtic. James Forrest replaces Patrick Roberts.
Attempt missed. Kara (RSC Anderlecht) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Nicolae Stanciu with a cross following a corner.
Corner, RSC Anderlecht. Conceded by Mikael Lustig.
Attempt blocked. Massimo Bruno (RSC Anderlecht) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Henry Onyekuru.