IN the wake of Celtic's final game in the Champions League on Tuesday, it was difficult to know whether to be content or not.

On one hand, it was job done for Brendan Rodgers and his players. The goal of European football after Christmas had been achieved, a place in the knockout stages of the Europa League confirmed as the team finishing in third place in Group B.

However, the manner in which they got over the line, limping to a 1-0 defeat to Anderlecht, will not have been the finish Brendan or the players would have hoped for.

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It was a Champions League stage of contrasting emotions. After taking just three points from last season's efforts but with no win to show for it, an improvement this time around, and of course the holy grail of football after Christmas on the continent, had to be the target.

In some ways, it was job done. The points tally stood the same but a win was achieved via 3-0 victory in Brussels. The manner of the performance at home to Bayern Munich was also excellent and something to be proud of.

But the manner of the defeats against PSG and also the performance and loss away in Munich is not what you're looking for. Playing against European super powers like PSG and Bayern, you know going into these games that a win is probably beyond you, and that there's a fair chance you'll come away with nothing no matter how well you play. However, to lost 5-0 and 7-1 to the Parisians is something that you don't expect to see.

Celtic lost all three of their home games in this year's group stage for the first time and the defeat on Tuesday night summed up just a strange evening at what is normally an electric Celtic Park.

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I thought the atmosphere was rather flat and that was mirrored in the performance of the team, particularly in the first half.

Against Bayern in Glasgow Celtic were terrific and got in the face of their opponents and made things difficult. They were brave on the ball and showed courage to look after the ball in possession. None of that happened in the first 45 minutes this week. Anderlecht's midfield were given too much space and time on the ball and Celtic struggled to deal with the Belgians or even get close to them.

To be fair to Brendan, he saw the problem at half-time and changed it. Scott Sinclair and Stuart Armstrong were taken off after they both looked out of sorts, and he threw on Tom Rogic and Olivier Ntcham, for me the latter changed the momentum of the game. His energy in the middle of the park brought Celtic to life and gave them the impetus which had been lacking. Also the shape in the middle of a park changed to a diamond and that stifled the creativity of the visitors. That's what made it so strange when Anderlecht did score as it came in a period of the game when Celtic were actually beginning to get to grips with proceedings. In the end Anderlecht seemed content just to let the game fizzle out after that. If Craig Gordon hadn't made that save in the opening moments, the whole narrative of the night could have been so different.

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It would have been a conflicting night for Celtic. Brendan has shown that he will not sit in and defend even going to Munich and Paris, so sitting in and holding out not to lose by three goals or more on Tuesday was never an option. For the most part though, his players didn't do either.

He will know that his team are capable of more, though, and the fact they are now in Monday's draw for the last 32 of the Europa League gives the players a chance on and really progress in a European tournament. One thing is clear though, they will have to be better than what they were on Tuesday.

As a rule, it's fair to say the competition is not the same standard as the Champions League, and that's true to an extent. However, you only have to look at some of Celtic's potential opponents. Atletico Madrid, Napoli, Arsenal, Lazio, Sporting Lisbon. While some of them may not quite be of the same class as Bayern or PSG, I think we can all agree they are much more formidable than Anderlecht.

Given the chance, they have players who will punish you and that's why Celtic need to replicate the disciplined and commitment shown away in Anderlecht and at home to Munich by getting in the faces of their opponents and rushing them into mistakes.

The manager has shown in getting Celtic through some tricky knockout ties over the last two years that he can prepare his players to handle the pressure over two legs. If they can recapture the intensity shown during their Champions League highs, then there may be more European nights to remember this season.