When the Japanese striker walked off with his left arm hanging limply by his side the hosts were struggling to break the visitors down. It was only the 17th minute but the sense of relief when Kyogo returned a couple of minutes later was palpable. As well as finding the key to unlock Dundee, there was also the little matter of Tuesday’s Champions League trip to Feyenoord occupying minds.
"It was just his shoulder, he just needed to get some work off the pitch and quickly the medical team sorted it out,” said Rodgers, "He came back in and was fine.” Asked if the shoulder needed to be popped back in, he answered: “Yes”. He was equally economical with his reply when a reporter wondered if the player was a doubt for midweek. “No,” said the Celtic manager.
Kyogo was eventually replaced after 66 minutes by Hyeongyu Oh, by which time he had scored with a well-timed header and set up another for Matt O’Riley. David Turnbull opened the scoring five minutes after half-time from the spot after he was adjudged to have been fouled just inside the penalty area by Ryan Howley, who was making his full debut for Dundee. Referee Grant Irvine originally awarded a foul outside the box but was instructed by the VAR team to change his decision.
Celtic were a different, more incisive side in the second half. On-loan Liverpool centre half Nat Phillips was replaced at half-time of his debut after picking up a knock towards the end of the first half. “He was going to play 60 minutes but it was just precautionary and he should be fine,” said Rodgers.
The manager hailed Reo Hatate, who came on to huge cheers in the second half. The Japanese midfielder has reportedly opened talks about a new contract. “It's brilliant as he's like a new player to be honest as he's missed a lot of playing time after being injured against Aberdeen,” said Rodgers. "He's the type of player we don't have in terms of that dynamism in his game. When he's really focused and on it, he's really very good. We wanted to give him half an hour just to feed himself back into the game. It was great to have him on the pitch as he's a top-level player.”