BRENDAN Rodgers today admitted Celtic had played like an UNDER-12 team at times as they crashed to a record European defeat at home to Paris Saint-Germain.

But the Parkhead boss, whose team was thrashed 5-0 last night, reckons the big-spending French champions are on course to become the best team on the planet.

And he is confident his men can bounce back from the loss and secure their objective of European football after Christmas.

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An Edinson Cavani double, first-half strikes from Neymar and Kylian Mbappe and a late Mikael Lustig own goal meant the free-spending French club opened their Champions League campaign in style.

It was the first time since their Glasgow rivals lost 5-0 to Hearts way back on September 1895 that they had been beaten so heavily at home - and the first time they had been beaten by that scoreline in Europe ever.

Celtic’s worst European result before last night was 3-0 – a result they had previously suffered against Saint-Germain in 1995, AC Milan in 2013 and Juventus in 2013.

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However, Rodgers, whose side crashed to their heaviest European result ever in their opening Champions League group game last season when they lost 7-0 to Barcelona in the Nou Camp, is convinced his team can recover.

The Scottish champions must finish in the top two of Group B to progress to the last 16 of the Champions League for the fourth time or come third to book a place in the last 32 of the Europa League.

Their manager feels his side can recover from the disappointing loss to “the best team in the world at the moment” in their forthcoming matches against Anderlecht and Bayern Munich and achieve their objective.

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“I'm not worried about records,” said Rodgers. “Tonight we were playing against world-class opponents. It’s always easy to play at 0-3, but in the second half we played better. I want them to start like that in future. If we get better we can achieve the main aim, which is European football after Christmas.

“Early on we were playing like under-12s at times for me. But I don’t want to be too harsh on the players. We were playing against potential champions of this tournament. We weren’t just play a level above. We were playing two or three levels above.

“You have to give Paris credit. They showed why they're going to be up there to win this competition. It's a tough lesson, a harsh lesson for us. This is a level which is all about learning for us, and tonight we'll learn from that.

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“It's a phenomenal squad that Paris have, but I was proud of the players in the second half and the supporters were terrific tonight, they kept encouraging us.”

Rodgers was upset that a Celtic supporter invaded the pitch when his team fell 3-0 down in the first half and attempted unsuccessfully to kick Saint-Germain striker Mbappe.

“The crowd’s reaction said it all,” he said. “It was bitterly disappointing a supporter getting onto the pitch. I am sure the club will deal with that."

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Meanwhile, Rodgers singled out Anthony Ralston, the 18-year-old who started the game at right back, for special praise for how he performed against Neymar, the world record £198 million Brazilian forward. “I thought he coped very well with it,” he said.

“It will stand him in good stead going forward.”