Celtic came from behind to beat Athletic Bilbao 3-2 in James Forrest’s testimonial match.
Celtic were outplayed in the opening period and trailed 2-1 before manager Brendan Rodgers switched his entire team for the second half, and goals from Alexandro Bernabei and David Turnbull added to Reo Hatate’s first-half effort.
About 42,000 fans were inside Celtic Park to honour Forrest, who has scored 101 goals in 467 competitive appearances and won 22 trophies for the club.
However, only a few hundred supporters occupied the standing section, which is normally frequented by the Green Brigade ultras. These fans were among the most critical of Rodgers for joining Leicester.
Rodgers received a warm reception when he was re-introduced to the Celtic support ahead of his first appearance at Parkhead since returning to the club for the benefit match, which saw a “significant proportion” of proceeds promised to two charities, Kilbryde Hospice and Celtic FC Foundation.
Cameron Carter-Vickers made his first start since undergoing knee surgery while Maik Nawrocki and Hyeok-kyu Kwon were handed Parkhead debuts.
The visitors took the lead inside 90 seconds after Hatate gave the ball away and was clinically punished by Unai Gomez from 25 yards.
The hosts continued to present Bilbao with opportunities from loose passes and Hatate was fortunate not to gift another goal before levelling out of the blue in the 36th minute when he picked up a loose ball and curled in a brilliant left-footed finish from 20 yards.
The visitors were back in front within seconds of the restart. Right-back Tomoki Iwata lost possession on the edge of the box after bringing down a high diagonal ball and was punished in style by Iker Muniain.
Only Forrest came back out after the interval but just until the 49th minute, when the fans were handed the chance to give him another ovation as he was replaced by Liel Abada. Summer signings Hyun-jun Yang and Odin Thiago Holm were among the half-time substitutes.
Bernabei equalised midway through the half after linking up well with second-half captain Turnbull and Matt O’Riley, and the former Motherwell midfielder soon swept home from Oh Hyeon-gyu’s cutback.
Scottish Premiership and SWPL on Sky Sports
Sky Sports – Next season up to 48 cinch Premiership games will be available across Sky Sports’ flagship channels, including Sky Sports Football and Sky Sports Main Event, plus at least five SWPL matches. From 2024/25, up to 60 cinch Premiership will be live on Sky Sports, in addition to the SWPL.
Sky Sports News – Running 24 hours a day, seven days a week, Scottish football fans can enjoy Sky Sports News’ (channel 409) rolling editorial coverage of the cinch Premiership and SWPL throughout the season.
Sky Sports Digital – Follow all the latest from Scottish football across SkySports.com and app, including exclusive features and interviews, plus dedicated live blog coverage, in-game clips from matches live on Sky Sports and free highlights.
Sky Sports Social – Alongside coverage and visibility for the league across all Sky Sports’ main social media channels, the bespoke Twitter channel @ScotlandSky will continue to be the home of all Scottish football content on Sky Sports.
Highlights show – Tune in for a dedicated round-up from the cinch Premiership every week on Sky Sports Football.
To download the Sky Sports app click here, to visit Sky Sports website click here.
Sky Sports is the home of domestic football in the UK and Ireland, with more than 400 games per season across the Scottish Premiership, Scottish Women’s Premier League, Premier League, WSL, and EFL.
Follow Celtic with Sky Sports
Follow every Celtic game in the Scottish Premiership this season with our live blogs on the Sky Sports website and app, and watch match highlights for free.
Want the Celtic latest? Bookmark our Celtic news page, check out Celtic’s fixtures and Celtic’s latest results, watch Celtic’s goals and video, keep track of the Scottish Premiership table and see which Celtic games are coming up live on Sky Sports.
Get all this and more – including notifications sent straight to your phone – by downloading the Sky Sports Scores app and setting Celtic as your favourite team.