BRENDAN RODGERS will look back on his first competitive match as Celtic manager many years from now and laugh about it. Probably.

But this defeat, appalling, embarrassing and deserved, to the semi-professional Lincoln Red Imps of Gibraltar, a team made up of customs officers, teachers, firemen and the local police force, is a serious contender for the worst result in the club’s history.

They will get through the tie of course but no Celtic team should ever lose to such opposition. Ever.

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It had something of the Neuchatel Xamax, Artmedia Bratislava, Inverness Caldedonian Thistle, Morton and Clyde to it except the match took place under a rock – which is where the players wanted to crawl beneath at the end.

Lee Casciaro, yeah, the guy who scored against Scotland for Gibraltar, a Ministry for Defence police officer no less, got the game’s only goal. He was brilliant again.

Rodgers blew his cheeks out at the end of a trying night in which he learned a few things about his players. The Scottish champions, and you had to remind yourself that is who they were, will sort this out next week at Celtic Park but, boy, this was shocking.

The Northern Irishman will have better times, it surely couldn’t get worse, which is why he might one day be able to put this wretched night into some sort of context. Gordon Strachan began with a 5-0 defeat and he went on to do okay.

But if the players did not feel humiliated after what was a sobering experience for even the well oiled travelling support then they don’t deserve to be at Celtic. It’s as simple as that.

All the boxes were ticked with regards to the problems Celtic face at this stage every year. It was seriously hot, the plastic surface was genuinely awful and the opposition, while limited, were determined, well organised and left nothing on the pitch.

Read more: Lincoln Red Imps goal hero Lee Casciaro - We knew they would get chances against Celtic's slow defence

It always seems rather feeble to blame the pitch when a side full of rich, professional internationalist players struggle against genuine minnows on such excursions across Europe but they would have handled the old red blaes pitches far better.

But none of this should have been a surprise. They didn’t cope with any of these issues and they should have.

Lincoln Red Imps, who play their home matches between the Rock of Gibraltar and a busy aeroplane runway, were brilliant. Good on them. They thoroughly deserved their moment.

Their tactics were simple enough. Stop Celtic in any way they can, which explained a foul on Dembele within two seconds –perhaps a European record – by Casciaro and counter-attack when they could. Such simplicity worked ever so well.

What failed to work for Rodgers was Efe Ambrose who on nine minutes caught Casciaro from behind, a foul which earned the Celtic defender a deserved yellow card. Ambrose kept making bad tackles and was at fault for the goal. His time surely now has come.

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On the half hour mark Red Imps strung together ten passes, which brought cheers from the home crowd, the ball made its way to Liam Walker who cut inside Kieran Tierney and got a shot on target which Craig Gordon dealt with easily.

The ball did find its way into the Red Imps nets within minutes when Scott Brown’s free-kick was headed home almost on the line by Dembele who was adjudged to have fouled goalkeeper Raul Navas.

Dembele forced a good save out of Navas on 40 minutes with a decent shot which the goalkeeper got to at his near post. But that was the one highlight. The passing and movement was shocking. You can only blame a dodgy pitch for so much.

The second-half began with Leigh Griffiths getting off a shot from the edge of the box but then on 47 minutes came a moment Gibraltar will remember forever.

A long ball was played by Walker into Casciaro, Ambrose was all over the place, and the loan striker got behind him and bundled the ball past Gordon. It could have got worse moments later.

A quick free-kick was played to Antonio Calderon who cut in on his left foot and his shot sailed an inch over the crossbar. They would have been good for a second goal at this stage.

Celtic should have equalised on 58 minutes when Saidy Janko’s cut-back found Griffiths centre of the goal but his shot was somehow deflected onto the bar and was then cleared. At that very moment am Easyjet plane landed just behind the goal, which added to the surrealness of it all.

Stuart Armstrong put a shot well over from 12 yards and then on 78 minutes, Griffiths rattled the crossbar with a free-kick. That Bitton was too sluggish to convert the loose ball summed up the pedestrian nature of Celtic.

By the end, the men from a British territory with a population which would only fill half of Celtic Park were in the ascendency. The Scots even refused to put the ball out when Walker was down injured and they tried and failed to score.

That’s how low it got.