Brendan Rodgers insists Odsonne Edouard is worth every penny of the £9million Celtic shelled out for the club’s record signing.
The French striker led a Parkhead fightback with two goals after Rosenborg full-back Birger Meling had silenced the home support with an early opener.
Rodgers, who blamed himself for his team’s poor start before making a game-changing tactical adjustment, hailed Edouard for the double which book-ended a superb strike early in the second half from Olivier Ntcham and gave Celtic a two-goal cushion to take to Norway next week.
Odsonne Edouard grabbed his second and Celtic’s third with a delightful chip to seal the win
Tight-lipped on a loan move for Australian World Cup teenager Daniel Arzani, Rodgers branded his team a ‘joy to watch’ after Edouard’s goals turned the tie on its head to secure a 3-1 win.
Asked if the record signing justified his fee, he said: ‘Yeah, and a lot more. He is a really class player.
‘He has shown it from the first day he walked in the building. For a boy of 20, it is impressive.
Olivier Ntcham put Celtic into the lead for the first time in the match straight after the break
The French midfielder showed composure to curl in from the edge of the penalty area
‘His first goal looked so simple. But when you watch it again, his movement to create the space and then just pass it in was excellent.
‘He timed his run for the second goal perfectly. The full-back, the right-back, keeps him onside.
‘That is a mark of top, top strikers — a boy to have that confidence on the big occasion. To show that calmness under pressure was brilliant.’
Celtic’s only fit striker after Moussa Dembele joined Leigh Griffiths on the injury list, Edouard led the line superbly with a calm finish and a cheeky dinked effort for the third.
Edouard got the hosts back on level terms with a smart finish just before the interval
Rosenborg had taken a shock lead early in the game through young defender Birger Meling
‘I don’t think anyone thought he was going to dink it,’ said Rodgers. ‘But he has shown that from the day he walked in.’
Satisfied with the way his side bounced back from the loss of an early away goal after a Jack Hendry error, Rodgers added: ‘You could probably sense a wee bit of apprehension in the crowd.
‘But the team is maturing and evolving all the time. We have a lot of young players in there. But it was a joy to watch the team this evening.
‘And not just all the good stuff either. Dealing with all the adversity in the game is a part of it.
Pal Andre Helland (left) battles for possession with Celtic forward Scott Sinclair (right)
‘When the game started, we tried to work the same way as we had done through the pre-season without trying to change so much. That has worked very well when Moussa has played, so we tried to do a similar thing by putting James (Forrest) up there.
‘For the first 20 or 25 minutes, I wasn’t overly happy with the shape of the team and that was my fault.
‘We just adapted it and went into a much-cleaner shape that the players know. We could then press the game and attack from a better base.
‘The last 15 minutes of the first half and the whole second half, the players were absolutely magnificent. By the end, I think we could have had five or six goals.’
Christian Gamboa puts striker Nicklas Bendtner under pressure as he takes aim at goal
Ntcham looks to the referee after going down under a challenge inside the penalty area
MailOnline exclusively revealed Celtic’s move for Manchester City winger Arzani.
The Australian is poised to leave Melbourne City for the English champions in a £280,000 deal.
And Celtic will again utilise a strong working relationship with City to pip PSV Eindhoven to secure a loan for the youngest player to grace the recent World Cup finals.
‘I can’t tell you anything about him or anyone else,’ said Rodgers. ‘I was asked before the game on that. All I know is he is a young Australian, a very talented player and went to the World Cup where he looked very, very good.
‘The club are working hard behind the scenes to try and get some signings in. I think he’s been one that has been identified.’
Rosenborg caretaker boss Rini Coolen admitted Celtic deserved their win but added: “We will not give up. It will be very tough but everything is possible.’