Celtic 2-0 Partick Thistle: Brendan Rodgers praises Celtic response

Brendan Rodgers congratulates his Celtic players at full-time
Brendan Rodgers' Celtic eased past Partick Thistle to stretch their lead at the Scottish Premiership summit

Brendan Rodgers praised his Celtic side for bouncing back from their surprise hammering by Hearts with a comfortable home win over Partick Thistle.

Celtic prevailed 2-0 on Wednesday, four days after their 69-game unbeaten domestic run came to an end in Gorgie.

Rodgers was pleased by the way his team performed in the wake of their first domestic loss under his stewardship.

"I said to the players, it's how you're defined as a player and team - how you respond to disappointment," he said.

"It was a great response. Obviously they showed their real qualities tonight.

"We had games against Partick at home last year that we drew 1-1 and won 1-0, but tonight, particularly second half, we had good control of the game."

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Celtic showed great maturity - Rodgers

Stuart Armstrong's stunning 35th-minute strike broke the deadlock and Kieran Tierney added a second after the interval.

The win propels Rodgers' men five points clear of Aberdeen at the top of the Scottish Premiership.

"We had to be patient first-half and maybe could've played forward a bit more into the space to find the areas better," Rodgers told BBC Scotland.

"We got a brilliant goal from Stuart, it's a great strike and it gives us some breathing space in the game.

"We fixed some things at half-time in order to position ourselves better, to try to get more attacking momentum, and I thought we were much better second-half. We scored a very good second goal and had a few chances. I was very pleased, our response was great.

Stuart Armstrong celebrates scoring the opening goal for Celtic
Armstrong's left-foot howitzer put Celtic ahead

"That's how these types of games are at times. Alan Archibald sets his teams up very well so we had to have patience in the game and the first goal was vital. We found it, then our fluency was much better and second half we were very good.

"It's a young team and they showed great maturity in the game to keep the clean sheet - we didn't have too many scares this evening. And like I say, solid defensively and looked creative going forward."

Rodgers, who praised the performances of veteran captain Scott Brown and teenage defender Kristoffer Ajer, would not comment on the possible signing of Lewis Morgan.

Having added German defender Marvin Compper on Wednesday, Celtic are close to completing a deal for the 21-year-old St Mirren midfielder.

"The young boy is a fantastic talent," the former Liverpool boss said. "We have our plans. We have one in and will continue to look to develop the squad."

Alan Archibald
Alan Archibald's Thistle are two points adrift at the foot of the Scottish Premiership

Partick Thistle manager Alan Archibald admits his team, two points adrift at the foot of the Premiership, struggled in attack.

Thistle host ninth-placed Hamilton Academical on Saturday as they seek to climb off bottom spot before the league's winter break begins in January.

"We didn't pass the ball," Archibald said. "We put in a lot of hard work but you need to take care of the ball and we didn't have enough guys wanting to play tonight, maybe that's because of our league position.

"We saw out the opening period but we didn't manage to lay a glove on them. Our concentration levels in defence were a lot better.

"We've got a massive game coming up against Hamilton and we want to get off the bottom of the league before Christmas."

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