Celtic must believe they belong at the top level of European football if they are to salvage their Champions League campaign, so says Ange Postecoglou.

The Hoops sit bottom of Group F, having taken just one point from their opening three games after losing 3-1 to RB Leipzig on Wednesday.

Celtic came out strong but went in at half-time 1-0 down courtesy of Christopher Nkunku. Despite Jota grabbing an early equaliser in the second half, a double from Andre Silva secured the three points for the Bundesliga side.

Postecoglou thinks Celtic must show more belief in their own ability, citing their mentality will change with more experience.

He told BT Sport: "A lot of it is experience at this level. Guys believing they belong, guys believing they can achieve at this level. It's not easy to translate that to people when they're out there. There's a lesson there for us tonight.

"We know when we're aggressive and play our football, we can cause anyone problems. When we're not, it's going to be very hard for us to be successful. 

"For us to get over this hump of being a good side and getting results we have to have a stronger belief and mentality, but that's not easy, it comes with experience.

"If you play for survival that's all you'll ever get, you never get anywhere."

Leipzig's second goal came after Joe Hart made a mistake while trying to play the ball out from the back, and the former England goalkeeper knows his error was a costly one.

"They were pressing with three... I decided to pass to Greg [Taylor] and I missed. It's high-level football, something I love playing, and when you make a mistake you get punished," Hart told BT Sport.

"Sometimes it's going to hurt us but ultimately we proved we could get through the press and gave ourselves some good opportunities to score goals.

"We've got two big games at home in a row. If we play to our potential, we believe that we can win them and then it will look different."

Celtic take on St Johnstone in the Scottish Premiership on October 8, before Leipzig travel to Glasgow for the reverse fixture in Group F three days later.

Celtic's hopes of qualification for the Champions League last 16 suffered another blow as they slumped to a 3-1 defeat against RB Leipzig following a Joe Hart howler.

The Scottish champions sit bottom of Group F with one point from three games after Christopher Nkunku and Andre Silva put them to the sword in Germany.

Nkunku looked to have broken the deadlock in the 17th minute when he chipped Hart, only to be ruled to have strayed offside by VAR.

Ten minutes later he did open the scoring, poking home after being played in by Silva following the Portugal forward's surge upfield on the counter.

Celtic levelled two minutes into the second half through Jota's first-time finish into the bottom-right corner but, after Dominik Szoboszlai saw a goal controversially chalked off for Silva being in an offside position, Leipzig restored their advantage in bizarre fashion.

Hart's pass out from the back was intercepted by Szoboszlai, who played in Silva for a simple finish.

Silva then doubled his tally by popping up at the back post to finish a fine team move and put the game to bed with 13 minutes remaining.

 

Chelsea will host Milan on Wednesday in what could well be a must-win fixture for the Blues, who sit last in Champions League Group E.

England has not been a happy hunting ground for Milan, but the group leaders and reigning Serie A champions will be hoping for a change of fortune when they roll into Stamford Bridge.

Meanwhile, Mykhaylo Mudryk will get a chance to show why he is considered one of the top young talents in Europe as Shakhtar Donetsk head to the Santiago Bernabeu to take on Real Madrid.

Paris Saint-Germain will look to change their poor historical record against Benfica, with Kylian Mbappe on the brink of becoming the club's record European goalscorer.

Stats Perform has dug up the most interesting facts and angles for each contest on Wednesday.

Chelsea v Milan

This is the first time these two teams will meet in the Champions League since they were in the same group in 1999, with both of those matches ending in draws. They have not met in a competitive game since, with all four of their 21st-century contests coming in the International Champions Cup (Chelsea won three of those with Milan recording one victory).

Chelsea have only lost twice at home to Italian teams in continental competition, collecting eight wins and three draws. They lost to Lazio 1-2 in 2000, and to Inter 1-0 in 2010.

Milan's record in England also gives no reason for optimism, with only one win from 20 tries in European play (D7 L12). 

Olivier Giroud was subbed off in Milan's dramatic 3-1 win over Empoli on Saturday. The France striker could become the 10th player to score for and against Chelsea in the Champions League, and first since Loic Rémy for Lille in December 2019, should he net in this meeting.

Real Madrid v Shakhtar Donetsk

This is the third consecutive season these sides have met in the group stages. It is the fifth time teams have ever been paired together in three consecutive seasons, and Shakhtar was involved in the most recent occasion as well, against Manchester City from 2017-18 through to 2019-20.

Over the past two seasons, they have split the wins evenly, with Shakhtar winning both games in the 2020-21 campaign, before Madrid triumphed in both fixtures last season.

After a win and a draw in the first two matchdays, Shakhtar boast the highest shot conversion rate in the competition, scoring with five of their 10 shots, including two goals from 21-year-old rising star Mudryk.

On the other side, Vinicius Junior leads the Champions League with 33 chances created and seven assists from open play since the start of last season, and he shares the mantle for most goal involvements at 18 with Barcelona's Robert Lewandowski.

Benfica v Paris Saint-Germain

Benfica are looking to extend their surprisingly strong record against Paris Saint-Germain, having won three of their six previous meetings (1D 2L) in European competitions, including the past three in a row. Their last fixture came in the 2013-14 season, with Benfica winning 2-1 at home.

In fact, Benfica have enjoyed plenty of success while hosting French sides, with five consecutive home wins – twice against Lyon, as well as beating Lille, Monaco and PSG.

However, PSG are a different beast now then they were back in 2014, and have only lost one of their past 11 matches in the group stage (8W 2D).

At only 23, Mbappe can become the club's all-time leading scorer in European competitions with one more goal. He is currently tied at 30 with Edinson Cavani.

RB Leipzig v Celtic

These sides both won their home fixtures when they were matched up in the 2018-19 group stage, and they will be desperate for a result as they enter Wednesday's game with only one point between them in Group F.

Celtic will be looking to make history as they have never won a European game away in Germany (10L 3D), failing to score on nine of those 13 occasions.

But it might be a case of a stoppable force meeting a movable object, as Leipzig have not kept a clean sheet in their last seven home games in the competition. They have only shut out their opponents twice from 15 Champions League home games.

Jota will be the key for Celtic's chances, with his six chances created trailing only Napoli's Piotr Zielinski (eight), while only Madrid star Vinicius is credited with more take-on dribbles (11) than Jota's nine.

Other fixtures:

Manchester City v FC Copenhagen

23 – Manchester City are two games away from tying Manchester United's record of 23 consecutive Champions League home fixtures without a loss. They are unbeaten at home in the competition since 2018.

62 – City's Erling Haaland averages a goal every 62 minutes in the competition, netting 26 goals in 21 appearances. He is well clear of second-placed Mario Gomez, who scored his 26 goals on an average of every 102 minutes.

Sevilla v Borussia Dortmund

1 – Borussia Dortmund have only won one of their past 11 trips to Spain in the Champions League (L7 D3), but that win came from their most recent opportunity, against Sevilla in February 2021.

3 – Sevilla have failed to score in each of their past three Champions League games. They have never gone four consecutive games in European competition without scoring.

Juventus v Maccabi Haifa

29 – It has been 29 years since Maccabi Haifa defeated an Italian team in European competition (3L 1D), with their only victory coming in 1993 against Parma. 

8 – The Israeli side have lost all eight of their Champions League fixtures since 2002, by a combined aggregate score of 13-1.

Salzburg v Dinamo Zagreb

6 – Salzburg can become the first Austrian team to ever go six games unbeaten in the Champions League if they can avoid defeat against Dinamo Zagreb, with three wins and two draws from their past five.

23 – The last time Zagreb kept a clean sheet away from home in this competition was 23 years ago, drawing 0-0 against United at Old Trafford in 1999. Since then, they have conceded 52 goals in 18 away games (2.9 per game).

RB Leipzig boss Marco Rose brushed off fresh speculation about Christopher Nkunku's future after the France international was strongly linked with Chelsea.

Reports have suggested Nkunku's Leipzig contract contains a £52.4million (€60m) release clause, and Chelsea are said to be keen suitors of the prolific attacker.

Nkunku scored 35 goals and added 20 assists in all competitions during a remarkable individual campaign last term, and has already scored six times in the Bundesliga this season.

With Nkunku likely to play a pivotal role when Leipzig attempt to get off the mark in the Champions League against Celtic on Wednesday, Rose is ignoring transfer rumours.

"It's speculation, we don't comment on it. It doesn't bother us, it doesn't interest us," the former Borussia Dortmund coach said.

Chelsea head coach Graham Potter took a similar stance ahead of the Blues' Champions League clash with Milan, saying: "As I've said before, my answer is I don't speak about players that aren't Chelsea players.

"If you want to ask me about any Chelsea players, I'm quite happy to speak about them. It was the same at Brighton. You get linked with a lot of players; there's a lot of names out there.

"As you can imagine, it gets escalated at a club like Chelsea. I'll speak about Chelsea players and not comment about anybody else."

Nkunku has been involved in eight Champions League goals since the start of last season (seven goals, one assist) – twice as many as any of his Leipzig team-mates (four – Emil Forsberg and Andre Silva).

However, the versatile 24-year-old is yet to score or assist in the competition this campaign, with Leipzig suffering back-to-back losses against Shakhtar Donetsk and Real Madrid.

Should Leipzig be beaten on Wednesday, it will represent the second consecutive Champions League campaign in which the Bundesliga outfit have started with three losses, and Rose is wary of the threat posed by Celtic.

"They have a team which is very active on the pitch, with a lot of pace. They are very attacking with a clear idea," Rose said.

"They are hard-working. They have two or three lads from Japan. It's fun watching them. It's just a great team and not a team that thinks defensively or about parking the bus.

"It will be our task to put them in difficulties. We will find spaces and we will try to take advantage."

Manchester United have already conceded 14 goals in seven Premier League games this season.

United boss Erik ten Hag is weighing up his goalkeeping options, having stuck with long-term number one David de Gea since taking over.

Reports have emerged that United and De Gea are set for talks on his future, with the 31-year-old's deal to expire in 2023.

TOP STORY – MAN UTD EYE COSTA AS DE GEA REPLACEMENT

Manchester United's goalkeeper situation is in flux, with the club interested in Porto custodian Diogo Costa, according to Metro.

United have sent scouts to watch the 23-year-old goalkeeper, who has seven caps for Portugal.

The Red Devils are looking for De Gea's successor, with the Spaniard seemingly not suiting Ten Hag's possession-based style.

United also have 25-year-old England international Dean Henderson out on loan at Nottingham Forest.

ROUND-UP

– O Jogo claims former Olympiacos manager Pedro Martins could be the latest Portuguese coach to take over at Wolves, following Bruno Lage's dismissal on Sunday. The Telegraph reports that under-fire Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui may be considered and Celtic manager Ange Postecoglou has also been discussed.

Juventus and Real Madrid will rival Liverpool in the race to sign Belgian midfielder Youri Tielemans from Leicester City, claims Calciomercato.

– LaLiga pair Sevilla and Valencia are both interested in Manchester United forward Anthony Martial, reports Todofichajes.

Tottenham and Juventus target Nicolo Zaniolo is set to pen a new deal with Roma, re-committing on a €4million per-year deal until 2027, according to Calciomercato.

– Everton's Venezuela international striker Salomon Rondon has interest from UAE club Sharjah FC but is likely to stay with the Toffees, reports Liverpool Echo.

Ange Postecoglou criticised Celtic's "work ethic" as the Scottish Premiership champions suffered a first league defeat in 364 days at St Mirren on Sunday.

Mark O'Hara headed the Paisley side ahead in the first half, before Jonah Ayunga added a second after the break to inflict a first defeat on Celtic since September 19 last year.

The loss was just Celtic's second in their past 27 visits to St Mirren, and Postecoglou accepted his side were well off their usual standards. 

"We just weren't aggressive both in action and in thought," he said. "We kind of tried to ease our way into a game of football and you just can't do that. You've got to be at it from the start and we weren't. 

"You don't put it down to one of those days; it's a disappointing day. We pride ourselves on having certain standards and we didn't reach those. And football will always teach you that lesson.

"What has got us to this point over the past 15 or 16 months is having a certain work ethic and certain levels of performance and belief. We didn't reach any of those. We've got to take the hits when they come and we've just got to get back up and go again.

"We've done that before as a team over the past 15 or 16 months. It's a sore one, it's one that we've got to use as the fuel we need next to get going again.

"We were nowhere near the levels we want to be. Credit to St Mirren. They worked really hard and were really committed to their game plan. They made it hard for us, but we never hit the levels we need to play our football. It's about dusting ourselves off and getting going again."

Celtic have a two-point lead over bitter rivals Rangers at the Scottish Premiership summit ahead of the international break.

UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Celtic over banners on display during their Champions League meeting with Shakhtar Donetsk.

A number of banners referencing the recent passing of Queen Elizabeth II could be seen in the Celtic end at Polish Army Stadium in Warsaw, where the sides played out a 1-1 draw on Wednesday.

Celtic now face potential sanctions, with UEFA confirming to Stats Perform on Thursday that disciplinary proceedings are under way.

However, Celtic's rivals Rangers will not face any punishment for defying UEFA's orders by playing the national anthem in tribute to the Queen before their 3-0 loss to Napoli.

A spokesman for the European football governing body said: "The incident is not the subject of any UEFA disciplinary proceedings."

Celtic's five-year wait for a group-stage victory in the Champions League was extended following a 1-1 draw with Shakhtar Donetsk in Warsaw on Wednesday.

A dominant first half saw Ange Postecoglou's side take the lead courtesy of an own goal from Artem Bondarenko, but Mykhailo Mudry's impressive campaign continued as he netted the equaliser.

That Celtic opener came after just 10 minutes when Josip Juranovic's clearance reached Sead Haksabanovic, who teed a pass through to Reo Hatate. His attempted cutback earned a deflection of Bondarenko and squirmed past Anatolii Trubin.

However, Shakhtar equalised against the run of play before the half-hour mark, with Celtic caught out defensively as Heorhii Sudakov sent Mudryk clear to smash high past Joe Hart, adding to his goal and two assists last week against RB Leipzig.

Real Madrid survived a hostile reception and the loss of striker Karim Benzema to injury as they dug deep to begin their Champions League defence with a ruthless 3-0 win at Celtic.

Los Blancos' quest for a record-extending 15th European Cup got off to a bad start when losing star man Benzema to a knee injury with 30 minutes played of Tuesday's opener.

Celtic had already struck the post through Callum McGregor at that point and continued to trouble their opponents on their return to the group stage after four seasons away.

But as they so often did last season, Madrid found a way thanks to quickfire goals from Vinicius Junior and Luka Modric, which Eden Hazard added to with a brilliant third.

Liel Abada and Reo Hatate had both asked questions of Thibaut Courtois in a lively opening half an hour for the hosts at a raucous Celtic Park. 

Ange Postecoglou's side went even closer to scoring when McGregor was picked out by Giorgos Giakoumakis and unleashed a left-footed strike against the frame of the goal.

Madrid lost Benzema to injury soon after but would have been ahead before half-time had Joe Hart not denied Vinicius from a one-on-one.

The visitors, having survived another let-off when substitute Daizen Maeda scuffed a shot at Courtois from close range, opened the scoring 11 minutes into the second half.

Federico Valverde found Vinicius with a lovely ball into the centre of the box at the end of a swift attack, and the forward coolly picked his spot past Hart with a first-time finish.

Madrid had a second four minutes later as Modric, making his 100th appearance for the club in the competition, prodded past Hart with an outside-of-the-boot finish.

It was plain sailing from that point on, and Hazard – the man brought on for Benzema – added a third from close range after some smart play from Toni Kroos and Dani Carvajal at the end of a fine team move.

Karim Benzema limped off the field with half an hour played of Real Madrid's opening Champions League group game against Celtic after sustaining a knee injury.

The 34-year-old, who was considered a doubt ahead of the Group F match at Celtic Park, appeared to pull up after playing a pass and was seen in visible pain.

Benzema attempted to shake off the injury but remained on the field for just a few more minutes before being replaced by Eden Hazard, with the game still goalless at that point.

France international Benzema led the Champions League scoring charts with 15 goals last season and had four goals in five games in all competitions this term prior to Tuesday.

Madrid have a busy run of fixtures ahead, with a LaLiga games against Real Mallorca and Atletico Madrid sandwiching next week's European clash with RB Leipzig.

Istanbul awaits next June, and this week the journey starts as the group stage of the Champions League begins.

Of course, the ultimate goal is to reach the final and lift the trophy. Most will fail in that quest, but that's not to say those who don't win the competition are failures.

Every year we enjoy breakout seasons from individuals in the Champions League as they announce themselves on the biggest stage.

Whether those performances earn big-money moves or simply greater acclaim, you can expect there to be a few players you might not be very familiar with who go on to impress.

Ahead of the first round of games, Stats Perform has identified a few to keep an eye out for.

Tanguy Nianzou, centre-back, 20 – Sevilla

After coming through Paris Saint-Germain's academy and then spending a season at Bayern Munich, France youth international Nianzou joined Sevilla as the replacement for Jules Kounde in pre-season.

It's been a rocky start for the youngster. He's part of a defence that's looked extremely unconvincing, with their expected goals against (excluding penalties) of 7.5 the second-worst in LaLiga after four games, three of which Sevilla have lost.

On matchday one, Nianzou will come up against Erling Haaland and Manchester City. The defender is very highly rated, but this will be a massive test of his readiness for regular football at such a level.

Goncalo Ramos, forward, 21 – Benfica

If you believe transfer gossip, there were plenty of clubs ready to prise Ramos from Benfica in the transfer window, but ultimately he stayed put and will be considered Darwin Nunez's replacement this season.

A well-rounded striker, Ramos works hard, is up for a physical battle and is technically proficient. Last season, he scored seven Primeira Liga goals as back-up to Nunez, although his early form in that regard this term suggests work is needed.

His two strikes from 3.9 xG show he's getting into good situations but isn't yet proving clinical – albeit he did net four in Champions League qualifying.

Benfica are in a group with Juventus and PSG, so they'll hope Ramos finds a reliable streak to aid their outside chance of progression.

Khvicha Kvaratskhelia, winger, 21 – Napoli

The first winner of Serie A's Player of the Month award of the new season – and in his very first month in the league – it's been some introduction from Kvaratskhelia.

He was playing back home in Georgia in the second half of last season after being able to suspend his contract at Rubin Kazan amid Russia's invasion of Ukraine. His deal was then terminated by Rubin after it emerged he was subject to death threats after leaving.

Kvaratskhelia had been linked with numerous big clubs but eventually landed at Napoli as Lorenzo Insigne's replacement. They may not be anything alike as players, but that's not stopped Kvaratskhelia having a major early impact with four goals in five Serie A games.

A tall winger who possesses great dribbling skills, he's a player primed to make a statement this season.

Lorenzo Lucca, striker, 21 – Ajax

He may only be 21, but Lucca's fledgling career has already been somewhat nomadic, finding himself registered as a senior player at six clubs – the latest being Ajax, whom he joined on loan with an option to buy from Serie B side Pisa.

Remarkably, the last of his six league goals for Pisa last season came in October, so it's clear the jury is still out and he has a lot to prove, but he has the attributes to be a threat for any team.

Standing at just over two metres tall, Lucca is a giant, yet he also possesses a surprising turn of pace and is technically very good. The Italy Under-21 international has only played 21 minutes with the first team this season, but he has three goals in two games for the second string.

It's unlikely he'll be a key figure for Ajax, but given his skillset he will be a viable option at times – let's just see if he can take his chances.

Matt O'Riley, midfielder, 21 – Celtic

Last season, O'Riley was playing in League One for MK Dons; on Tuesday, he'll likely line-up against Real Madrid. It's been quite a quick ascension for the gifted midfielder.

A product of Fulham's academy, O'Riley left the Cottagers stunned when he rejected a new contract in 2020. He spent six months training with Dons and then signed for them in January 2021 – that saw him exposed to first-team football and a year later he was at Celtic.

The London-born Denmark Under-21 international has enjoyed a wonderful start to the season, with his vision and ball-playing abilities marking him out as a real creative threat and earning links to Manchester United.

How he fares in the Champions League with the step up in quality could prove crucial with respect to his short-term future.

Carlo Ancelotti believes the biggest unknown surrounding Real Madrid's potential defence of the Champions League is the prospective physical condition of his players when they return from the World Cup.

Madrid begin their quest for a 15th European Cup on Tuesday when they visit Scottish champions Celtic.

The group stage is condensed this season because of the World Cup, moved from its usual Northern Hemisphere summer slot to November because of the extreme heat in Qatar.

Teams involved in the group stage will play six games in under two months, with the battle for a place in the last 16 coming to a close on November 2.

On top of domestic commitments, that makes for a crowded fixture list. Yet Ancelotti is less concerned with the effects of the schedule than he is about the potential toll on his squad of playing in a mid-season World Cup.

"Until the World Cup, I think we won't have any problems," Ancelotti said of the unusually busy fixture list. 

"The players are prepared and motivated. The question is how the World Cup players will return. It cannot be known."

Madrid are not seen as favourites for the Champions League despite their remarkable run last season. Los Blancos delivered thrilling comebacks against Paris Saint-Germain, Chelsea and Manchester City before beating Liverpool 1-0 in the final.

City are the bookmakers' favourites ahead of PSG, Liverpool and Bayern Munich. Ancelotti, though, is happy his team are not in the top four in that sense.

"I'm not surprised. I see it as a good sign," he added. "I think that last year we had even less probability in the statistics. So we have improved. 

"What happened last year will happen. We are going to compete until the end and hopefully we will compete in the final."

Ancelotti's team are, however, overwhelming favourites to win Group F, which also features RB Leipzig and Shakhtar Donetsk, as well as Celtic.

But Ancelotti pointed to Madrid's shock home defeat to Sheriff Tiraspol in last season's group stage when asked about their seemingly easy draw.

"It is not an easy group, because we know the teams very well," said Ancelotti. "Celtic are doing very well, we have to respect them, like Leipzig and Shakhtar. 

"In the group stage, there are surprises, especially in the first half. We have a pretty vivid memory of last season with Sherriff at home. We respect the group and I think it will be an even group."

Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou declared Celtic will be "hard to stop" if they maintain their current form after watching the Bhoys tear Rangers apart in a 4-0 Old Firm derby success.

A Liel Abada brace, as well as goals from Jota and David Turnbull, moved the scintillating Scottish Premiership champions five points clear of their historic rivals in the early-season table on Saturday.

Celtic are now unbeaten in 38 league games, and have scored 25 goals in their opening six matches of the 2022-23 campaign.

Speaking to the BBC after the win, Postecoglou said: "We have been in excellent form and I'm really proud of the players.

"It was a big game today, we knew that, a big occasion against a really good team, and I thought the boys were outstanding from start to finish."

Asked about the importance of the Hoops' commanding lead over Rangers in the standings, the Australian said: "What's more important to me is how we're playing, every week we've got a little bit better, and that's a good indicator. 

"That's a better indicator. You can win games in many ways and grind things out, but our form's been outstanding.

"If we can keep going like that, we're going to be hard to stop."

Postecoglou's counterpart Giovanni van Bronckhorst, meanwhile, was left deflated by a series of defensive errors as he pledged the Gers will not make the same mistakes in the future.

"You know the start you have is very important in how the game will develop," he said. "We knew the threat they had with quick throw-ins and free-kicks.

"We were exposed twice, which gave two goals away. For me, that's very disappointing. We knew they were going to [restart quickly] and still we weren't prepared enough.

"Everyone needs to reflect in what they did well and what they did wrong, same for me.

"There are still a lot of games to be played, plus three games against Celtic.

"We have to move on, get stronger and make sure the moments we had here never happen again, no matter who we play."

Liel Abada's first-half double laid the bedrock for a rousing Celtic victory, as they claimed the Old Firm bragging rights with a 4-0 thrashing of Rangers.

Abada was in superb form as he helped fire the hosts to a sixth successive victory of the Scottish Premiership season, with Jota and David Turnbull also on the scoresheet at Celtic Park.

The win moved Ange Postecoglou's side five points clear at the top ahead of their Champions League meeting with Real Madrid next week.

For Giovanni van Bronckhorst's visitors however, it laid bare the gulf in quality, and checks the Gers' momentum before their midweek trip to Ajax.

Celtic had to recover from an early blow when Kyogo Furuhashi, the league's top scorer, was forced off clutching his shoulder following a collision with John Lundstram.

Yet those early fears turned to joy when Celtic seized the first chance of the game – Abada turning Matt O'Riley's cross in off Jon McLaughlin's palm with a lunging volley.

O'Riley provided again for the Bhoys to double the lead, with a superb ball for Jota, who turned home sharply, and Celtic's fans were in dreamland when Abada doubled his tally with a first-touch finish from six yards out.

With a three-goal deficit to overturn after the break, Rangers had to make some kind of change, with Scott Wright thrown on for Glen Kamara, but that gamble failed to stem the Celtic onslaught.

Celtic seldom let their foot off the pedal, and when McLaughlin played a short goal-kick straight to Turnbull, an easy finish sealed the deal for the hosts in emphatic, dominant fashion.

What does it mean? Celtic cement frontrunner status

Twenty-five goals in the space of six league games is not just an impressive haul, it is positively confirmatory for Celtic's title hopes, even at this early stage.

Even before their free-scoring performance in the derby, they had not netted as many goals as they had by this stage of any previous SPL season. They look impossible to stop.

Bhoys buck bad starts

The first league Old Firm derby of a season has been won by Rangers in both of the last two campaigns. Before that, Celtic had won four in a row – and now they have shaken off the slow form that has cost them the past two years.

Van Bronckhorst makes unwanted history

Rangers are yet to win an Old Firm league derby under the Dutchman. It makes him the fourth such man to fail to register a win in his first four encounters, after William Wilton in 1892, William Waddell in 1971 and Graeme Murty in 2018.

What's next?

Both teams enter the Champions League group stages against two European heavyweights, with Celtic welcoming Madrid and Rangers travelling to Ajax.

Celtic made history as they thrashed struggling Dundee United 9-0 in the Scottish Premiership.

Kyogo Furuhashi and Liel Abada both helped themselves to hat-tricks in what was Celtic's largest competitive win on the road in their history.

United had taken just one point from their first four matches, though Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou had warned his team against complacency before kick-off.

"We always go in and expect that they'll be at their best, but what we know is if we're at our best, we're difficult to stop, and that's the things we can control and that's what we’ll be trying to do," he told Sky Sports.

It proved to be the case as the Hoops swept aside their opponents to move back above Rangers at the summit of the league, maintaining their 100 per cent start to the season in the process.

All of Kyogo's goals came in the first half and Celtic went into the interval 4-0 up thanks to Jota.

Abada's trio of strikes came between the 50th and 77th minutes – Josip Juranovic got on the scoresheet in that time, too – with Carl Starfelt applying the finishing touch late on.

"The boys were great, disciplined and focused," Postecoglou said in his post-match interview with Sky Sports.

"It was important we set our stall early and really put them under pressure. In the end, we kind of wore them down, our goals were really good."

Kyogo also provided an assist to go with his hat-trick, and Postecoglou said of the forward: "He's great, he's been great all along, he's such an important part of what we do.

"It's not just his goals, it's the way he harasses the opponents, it's his overall work rate. All our strikers work really hard, but they get the rewards."

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