CELTIC lost out in 10-goal blitz as they were hit for six by their Japanese hosts in the Nissan Stadium.

The Hoops were leading 3-2 at the interval following a superb hat-trick from Daizen Maeda before Brendan Rodgers’ men were caught up in an extraordinary second-half whirlwind.

The defence went awol as Marinos clicked into gear to thump in four goals and the visitors’ sole reply was a late consolation effort from David Turnbull which put a slightly better complexion on the scoreline.

Naturally, the result is of little consequence and the main exercise of a lively encounter was to work on match fitness against a very capable team who are already halfway through their league season. In the end, that extra stamina went a long way to the startling turnaround in fortunes.

OOPS…Joe Hart is grounded as Anderson Lopes prepares to put the hosts into an early lead.

Maeda certainly enjoyed his return to the club he left for Parkhead in January 2022 as he fired in a trio after the hosts had been gifted the lead inside four minutes when Anderson Lopes took advantage of a slip from Joe Hart and his defenders to roll the ball into the inviting net.

Two minutes later, the Hoops speedster levelled when he finished off a brilliant move between Reo Hatate and Liel Abada that saw the Israeli winger slide the ball across from the right with his team-mate sweeping the opportunity into the roof of the net.

Playing through the middle, Maeda put Rodgers’ men ahead in the 21st minute and once again it was Abada setting up the opportunity with a cunning pass to the backpost which was finished off smartly by his team-mate.

HITTING THE ROOF…Daizen Maeda fires high into the net for the first of his trio.

The watching fans hardly had time to draw breath when Marinos equalised through a header from Kota Mizunuma only moments later.

Maeda then forced an amazing reflex save from Jun Ichimori when he attempted a sublime lob from 40 yards. The keeper just managed to scramble back and tip the ball over the bar.

With three minutes of an exciting and entertaining first period to go, the pacy raider did manage to claim a hat-trick when he first-timed 12-yard effort low into the corner of the net after Tomoki Iwata had set him up.

Just before the hour mark, it was all-square again when Brazilian Anderson capitalised on a miskick from Carl Starfelt to race through and tuck the ball behind substitute netminder Benji Siegrist.

PICK IT OUT…Daizen Maeda thumps in his second with the keeper helpless.

In the 66th minute, the Swiss keeper was once more retrieving the ball from the back of his net when the unmarked Yuki Saneto sprinted clear and stroked his effort home. That was the signal for Rodgers to make nine changes to give some players valuable game time.

With five minutes to go, Ryo Muyaichi headed in No.5 and the winger struck again only moments later.

Turnbull, who had replaced Hatate in the 67th minute, walloped home a long-drive in stoppage time.

Next up is a meeting with Gamba Osaka on Saturday before the champions head home.

TEAM: Hart (sub: Siegrist 46); Iwata (sub: McPherson 67), Starfelt (sub: Scales 67), Kobayashi (sub: Welsh 60), Taylor (sub: Bernabei 67); Hatate (sub: Turnbull 67), McGregor (sub: Kelly 67), O’Riley (sub: Oh 67); Abada (sub: Forrest 67), Maeda (sub: Kyogo 67), Haksabanovic (sub: Summers 67).

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