Whenever Leigh Griffiths and Patrick Roberts were on the ball last night, Lincoln Red Imps sensed danger. Both could control instantly, control with little space and disorientate defenders. Leigh and Patrick aside, the rest had an excellent first half. Passing was crisp, accurate and fast.
The shape of the team, with variously Lustig, Brown, Tierney and Shevchenko operating in a moveable back three, allowed players to find space between Red Imps’ 5-4-1.
These games are not about impressing anyone, they are about getting into the next round, but the tie was over by halftime, allowing Celtic to step the pace down, and Red Imps to show that they were more than they appeared to be in the first half.
Stiffer tests lie ahead, when more will need to perform at the levels of Patrick and Leigh.