Celtic lost the battle but won the war against Anderlecht on Tuesday night.
Speaking on Celtic TV, Brendan Rodgers has paid tribute to Olivier Ntcham and Tom Rogic for their performances in Tuesday night's 1-0 defeat by Anderlectht at Parkhead.
Celtic lost the battle but won the war as Rodgers's side avoided the three-goal defeat that would have seen them pipped to third spot in their Champions League group and with it a place in the Europa League.
Jozo Simunovic's own goal on 62 minutes proved the difference between both sides on a night when the Hoops posted something of a jaded performance from front to back and never really got going.
The Scottish champions had thumped their Belgian counterparts 3-0 in Brussels in the previous Group B meeting, but it was a different Celtic last night and the Northern Irishman admits that the performance should come as a wake-up call for some of his troops.
He told The Scotsman afterwards: "Some of them think they are Champions League players, but this is a good leveller for some of those guys to reflect on the performance and be better.
“There is a story for some of our players in that they have a long way to go before they can call themselves players at this level. But we’ve shown over the course of this campaign that we can be better.”
Asked on Celtic TV if he was pleased with Ntcham's performance, Rodgers said: "Yeah I thought his power and quality with the ball was very good. He gave us that balance, looking after the ball.
"Tom came in and Tom Rogic was excellent as well so those two players were really effective for us."
The draw for the round-of-32 Europa League ties will take place on Monday 11 at 12pm.