BEFORE Celtic took to the field in the familiar surroundings of Trondheim yesterday, Rosenborg made the Scottish champions feel even more at home by laying on a choir to sing You’ll Never Walk Alone. Then, when the action got under way on the pitch, they really laid out the welcome mat.

Brendan Rodgers could hardly have wished for a smoother passage through this picturesque harbour town as his side turned in a polished, professional performance to get the win that ensures that they give themselves a golden chance of Europa League progression going into their final group game against RB Salzburg at Celtic Park in a fortnight. It is Celtic’s first ever group stage victory away from home in the competition, and after so many difficult nights on their travels on the continent, it was a nice change for the visiting supporters to enjoy a relatively comfortable evening. Yes, Rosenborg were awful, but the Scott Sinclair goal that claimed the three points was scant reward for Celtic’s dominance.

The players weren’t as much walking out into a cauldron as a freezer, with the locals clearly deciding that it wasn’t worth braving the cold to see their side in what, for them, was essentially a warm-up for the Norwegian Cup final on Sunday against Stromsgodset.

Still, for all of the pre-match chatter from Rosenborg manager Rini Coolen about resting players, he made only two changes from his regular 11. For Celtic, there was only one change from the side that swept aside Hamilton last time out, with Tom Rogic given the nod over Olivier Ntcham.

It was a low-key start amid the subdued surroundings, but the blistering pace of Kieran Tierney soon heated things up as he burst past Vegar Hedenstad and fired a great ball across goal that no one got on the end of.

The home side appeared happy to let Celtic knock the ball about, and they in turn were happy to accept the offer as they worked it well to Rogic to fire a sighter over the bar from 25 yards.

The Australian was looking dangerous though, and he killed a high ball stone dead in the Rosenborg box to give himself another chance for a shot, but this time the home defence managed to block his net-bound effort. He was then frustrated by keeper Andre Hansen as the ball broke for him 10 yards out, the Rosenborg number one diving low to save his low shot.

For all of Celtic’s dominance though, they weren’t being clinical enough when in dangerous positions. The risk then, is that it comes back to bite you, but with five minutes to go to the break, they eventually put the finishing touch to their work that they deserved.

James Forrest had been relatively quiet by his recent electrifying standards, but it was he who unlocked the door as he breezed past Hedenstad to hit the byline and stand up the perfect ball for Sinclair to calmly head home at the back post.

If they had any notion that the second period would be all plain sailing as a result, they were given a sharp reminder that it would not entirely be the case as they were caught cold at the back, and Filip Benkovic had to look smart to cut out a dangerous ball across goal from Birger Meling.

The match reverted into a familiar pattern of almost complete Celtic domination, but the boat was rocked slightly when Rodgers was forced to replace the injured Mikael Lustig with Cristian Gamboa, throwing on Leigh Griffiths at the same time for Odsonne Edouard.

Again, Celtic were guilty of being slack with their final ball when in great positions, adding an unnecessary edge to proceedings whenever Rosenborg sporadically ventured forward. Perhaps it was a couple of relatively hairy moments that prompted the Celtic manager to turn to captain Scott Brown to steer his side through the slightly choppy waters they had created for themselves, the midfielder coming on for the last quarter of an hour to just calm things a little.

In the end, Celtic did see out the match comfortably enough. The second goal that would have had the cigars out never arrived, but the back pairing of Dedryck Boyata and Benkovic, lauded by their manager prior to the game, dealt with the little threat that came their way with ease.

There is of course now the small matter of the Betfred Cup t all sets it up nicely for a huge night at Celtic Park in two weeks’ time, where a draw against an already-qualified RB Salzburg side will be enough in Glasgow to secure progression. Celtic have given themselves a wonderful opportunity, all they have to do now is grasp it.