The fan had run only to be clamped by a burly security man while attempting to get among the players as they acclaimed their travelling faithful at the conclusion of a hugely impressive victory. Earned despite playing 10 men for more than an hour following a red card for keeper Joe Hart. Rodgers felt the incident was heavy-handed and helped the youngster escape to disappear back into the stands.
“The guy was about 20 stones trying to hold him down when he’s about six years of age,” said the Irishman “What can you do? I told the guy to get off him. He’s just a child seeing his heroes. And then I just made sure he got away…”
Rodgers delighted in his players not allowing the encounter to get away from them subsequent to the first dismissal of Hart’s near two-decade senior career. Not least because they ended with nine men for the 2-0 loss away to Feyenoord in their Champions League opener on Tuesday evening. Though the 50-year-old quipped that the ceaseless industry of Daizen Maeda, who added a third in added time with a sumptuous hit, made it feel like his side were not a body short.
“It was a monumental win, in terms of getting back in after playing with nine men during the week,” the Celtic manager said. “Livingston is a notoriously hard place to come anyway, never mind with ten men, so to play with that mentality was very good. Attitude and energy you need, and that is what we had. Great move for the penalty [to go 1-0 in 13 minutes], our movement was excellent.
“We go down to ten men and then we always have a plan for that in terms of how we work, how we keep the calmness. I thought the players were outstanding [and we scored] two really good goals in the second half. As I said to the guys, when you have Daizen Maeda, it is not like playing with ten men. He does the running of two men, he is absolutely incredible and I was so happy for him that he got his goal. He was so good on the day for us.”