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Friday 23 June 2017

Rogic: That's why we're champs

Midfielder insists late winner at 'Well proof of Celts' title pedigree

Tom Rogic's goal sealed victory for Celtic
Tom Rogic's goal sealed victory for Celtic

Celtic demonstrated why they are champions and champions-elect with their last-gasp victory at Motherwell on Saturday, according to Tom Rogic.

The 23-year-old Australia midfielder netted the 90th-minute winner after the Ladbrokes Premiership leaders came from behind twice in a pulsating lunchtime encounter.

Striker Louis Moult scored a first-half double to give the home side what looked like a commanding interval lead but Celtic fired back with goals from substitute Callum McGregor and Patrick Roberts before Well substitute Lionel Ainsworth and Hoops midfielder Stuart Armstrong swapped goals to set up the game for its thrilling finale.

Imperious

Brendan Rodgers' side, who won the Betfred Cup final last week against Aberdeen, remain unbeaten on the domestic front and eight points clear of Rangers at the top of the table with three games in hand, and Rogic believes they showed at Fir Park just why they appear imperious in Scotland.

He said: "We were up against it in the first-half and we gave ourselves a lot to do and sometimes when you win games like that is a little more special and you enjoy it that bit more. "It was definitely a day to remember.

"We are certainly champions for a reason and it is days like those when you are up against it, it tests your character as a group and as a unit and when you come through it, it is pretty pleasing.

"It was a new challenge and it showed the strength of the team."

Rogic was glad to have survived the hook in the second-half as the former Central Coast Mariners player rarely gets to finish a game for the Parkhead men.

He said: "It was a nice goal, as I said it was a crazy game.

"We gave ourselves a lot to do after the first-half.

"We spoke at half-time and believed we had goals in us and there was some finish to the game and the fans deserved it." Kolo Toure's return to the Celtic defence for the first time since October was at the expense of Erik Sviatchenko who, like striker Leigh Griffiths, was too ill to take part.

Flourish

Rodgers believes both "should be fine" for the final Champions League Group C game at Manchester City tomorrow night.

The Hoops are bottom of the section with two points from five fixtures and are out of Europe for the season but will be looking to finish with a flourish.

Meanwhile Moult, who scored a double when Motherwell won 2-1 at Celtic Park last year, was left "very frustrated."

The 24-year-old former Wrexham striker said: "We have to take the positives. We gave them a massive headache, especially in the first half when we were probably the best we have been.

"We needed to do better in the second half."

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