Apart from an injury to Nir Bitton, Celtic’s clash with Barcelona in Dublin appeared to be a qualified success.
Jumping on a plane, even for a 30 minute journey, on the back of a return trip to Kazakhstan isn’t recommended but is essential in the current climate.
After starting the match with close to his first choice XI Brendan Rodgers got the chance to assess the majority of his squad against the best opposition in the business.
Although Barcelona also made wholesale changes it was a very worthwhile exercise to see how Rodgers’ fringe players compared with their Catalan counterparts while Jamie McCart and Anthony Ralston were given a priceless taste of the standards they must strive for.
When Astana visit Celtic Park on Wednesday night Rodgers will stick closely to the players that earned a 1-1 draw in the first leg but as he demonstrated in Kazakhstan the Celtic boss likes to make to use his squad to the full with all three first leg substitutes making an impact.
Kristoffer Ajer and Eoghan O’Connell probably didn’t feature highly in Rodgers plans when he arrived at Celtic but both players have taken their chance to push forward their claims for a first team place.
CLICK HERE to view the gallery of four unlikely successes from Celtic’s trip to Dublin.