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VIDEO: Kieran Tierney hits wondergoal as Celtic thrash Kilmarnock

Celtic's Kieran Tierney celebrates scoring (Jane Barlow/PA Wire)
Celtic's Kieran Tierney celebrates scoring (Jane Barlow/PA Wire)

BOSS Brendan Rodgers believes Celtic showed their strength in depth with a 5-0 thrashing of Kilmarnock in the Betfred Cup at Parkhead on Tuesday night.

The Hoops boss made eight changes from the side which beat Hearts 4-1 at the weekend, one enforced with captain Scott Brown suspended.

Kieran Tierney, 20, skippered a youthful side which had five teenagers – Anthony Ralston, Kundai Benyu, Kristoffer Ajer, Calvin Miller and Eboue Kouassi – in the starting line-up.

Ralston scored his first goal for the Scottish treble winners with a header, striker Leigh Griffiths grabbed a double, the first of the evening from the spot, and Stuart Armstrong completed the rout but goal of the night was Tierney’s long-range strike which gave Killie goalkeeper Jamie MacDonald no chance.

Rodgers said: “It was a brilliant performance and a joy to watch the team.

“I genuinely think I can pick a team out if the squad I have and it will function to a high level.

“It was great to the see the concentration of the young players. When we had the ball our creativity and speed was excellent.

“It was a great demonstration of the strength of our squad.

“We had six players at the start of the game 20 and younger.

“It shows it is a club for young players to develop, to come through and obviously I’m delighted for Tony Ralston scoring his first goal for Celtic.

“Kieran’s goal was an incredible strike. It was a very pleasing performance. We are into the our flow much quicker this season.”

Betfred Cup: Celtic and Hibs hit five to cruise into quarter-finals

Killie boss Lee McCulloch was impressed by the home side.

He said: “It was a lesson learned against a strong Celtic team although they did not have many regulars playing.

“It shows their strength in depth. They have quality there even though they are not playing ever week.

“We will dust ourselves down and go again on Saturday.”

Elsewhere in the second round, former Celtic striker Anthony Stokes struck twice as Hibernian thrashed in-form Ayr 5-0 to put themselves in confident mood ahead of their trip to face Rangers at Ibrox on Saturday.

Celtic’s next opponents Partick Thistle won 3-0 against St Johnstone with the help of a brilliant curling strike from Ryan Edwards and Rafa De Vita hit an extra-time winner as Livingston won 2-1 at Falkirk.