3 talking points as Celtic hit magnificent seven against SC Wiener Viktoria in opening pre-season friendly

Ange Postecoglou named an experimental line-up, with defender Christopher Jullien given 60 minutes to impress in Austria.

Celtic kick-started their pre-season programme in emphatic style as the Scottish champions eased to a commanding 7-0 rout of Austrian third tier minnows SC Weiner Viktoria in the SV Bad Erlach Stadium.

Ange Postecoglou’s side will face much sterner tests over the coming weeks, with this match the first of six summer friendlies for the Hoops at home and abroad.

The Australian will have been satisfied with the workout as his players roared back into action, racing into a six-goal lead before half-time.

Supporters were able to catch a first glimpse of new signings Alexandro Bernabei and Benjamin Siegrist, while centre-back Christopher Jullien was also handed a start just a week after his move to Schalke collapsed.

A brace from Johnny Kenny, plus further goals from Reo Hatate, Mikey Johnston, Christopher Jullien, James Forrest and Rocco Vata sealed a comfortable victory, with the team wearing their new green and white home kit.

What was the Celtic line-up?

Given the lowly standard of opposition, Postecoglou opted to leave out the majority of his international stars by naming a weakened starting XI for their opening friendly.

Goalkeeper Joe Hart was handed the captain’s armband in the absence of Callum McGregor, with Osaze Urhoghide, Christopher Jullien, Bosun Lawal and Alexandro Bernabei making up the backline.

James McCarthy and Yosuke Ideguchi both started in midfield alongside Reo Hatate, with wingers James Forrest and Mikey Johnston supporting debutant striker Johnny Kenny.

Five changes were made at the break with Benjamin Siegrist, Albian Ajeti and ‘B’ team youngsters Matthew Anderson, Ben Summers and Rocco Vata.

Just before the hour mark, 16-year-old Josh Dede, who signed his first professional contract just before flying out with the first-team squad and Liam Shaw entered the fray before Owen Moffat was given a late run-out.

Starting XI: Hart (Siegrist; 45), Urhoghide, Jullien (Dede; 58), Lawal, Bernabei (Anderson; 45), McCarthy (Shaw; 58), Ideguchi, Hatate (Summers; 45), Forrest (Vata; 45), Johnston (Moffat; 67), Kenny (Ajeti; 45)

Unused: Oluwayemi (GK)

Here are three talking points from Wednesday’s friendly...

Kenny takes his chance

The former Sligo Rovers frontman thought he had a hat-trick only for Jullien to steal it from him but the Republic of Ireland youth international will have been delighted to get off the mark on his first start.

The 19-year-old looked sharp in the first-half and displayed good strength and movement with two neat finishes, tapping home the opener at the back post from a Johnston cross before converting number four.

He then struck the post and tried to follow in for a fifth goal but Jullien managed to get in front of him. Kenny’s link-up play with Johnston and Forrest on either side was effective before he was replaced at half-time. Positive early signgs from the teenager, who signed a long-term deal back in January.

Bernabei impresses

The Argentine left-back will offer Celtic plenty going forward and on this evidence he was clearly focused on improving the attacking side of his game due to the lack of threat posed by their opponents.

The 21-year-old, who joined the Parkhead club on a five-year-deal from Lanus in his homeland earlier this month, almost found the net after clever play down the left flank with Ideguchi.

Bernabei will undoubtedly face tougher challenges but he will be determined to hold onto the starting jersey, with Greg Taylor yet to return.

Jullien’s second chance?

The Frenchman was a surprise inclusion in the line-up just a matter of day after his move to newly-promoted Bundesliga side Schakle fell through after failing to agree personal terms.

Jullien was briefly handed the captain’s armband as Hart made way at the break and he guided young central defensive partner Bosun Lawal through the majority of the game unscathed.

The 29-year-old got on the scoresheet and can be pleased with his all-round performance. Will Ange Postecoglou think twice about letting him leave this summer?