Celtic continued their pre-season preparations with a friendly against Yokohama F. Marinos in Japan.

In Brendan Rodgers’ first televised game since his return as Celtic manager, he faced Kevin Muscat’s side in a well-contested match at the Nissan Stadium in Yokohama.

After going behind early on, a double from Daizen Maeda gave Celtic the lead before the home side equalized. Maeda then secured his hat-trick to regain Celtic's advantage.

Into the second-half, and Yokohama equalized once again, before taking the lead as Rodgers made wholesale changes to the line-up. The home side would pull away from Celtic, although the contest ended 6-4 with a late strike from David Turnbull to round off the scoring.

Our writers pick out five talking points from Celtic’s first of two friendlies in Japan as the club's preparations continued ahead of the upcoming season.

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Maeda returns to haunt his old team

The former Yokohama F Marinos attacker returned to his old hunting ground for the first time in the colours of Celtic and was a constant menace for the opposition to deal with.

Maeda led the line - a role he has experience in previously at Yokohama and the Japan international set-up - and pressed the opposition at every opportunity. His constant running was a thorn in the side of the Japanese side

Assisted twice by Liel Abada and once by Tomoki Iwata, the Japan international was in the mood for goals as he helped himself to the match ball following a standout performance in his homeland.

Recently being rewarded with a new four-year contract, Maeda will look to level up his game under the returning Rodgers in the dugout. If today's performance is anything to go by, then the prospect of an upgraded Maeda this season is a truly daunting prospect for both domestic and European defences to deal with.

Formational tweaks

Celtic were used to setting up in a particular way under Ange Postecoglou. The Australian usually played a 4-3-3, using his extremely wide wingers in the front line. This would allow the Scottish champions to create space for the full-backs to exploit. The now infamous inverted full-backs would then overflow the midfield and the number eights would adapt their positions to suit the situation.

Things appear to be a bit different under Rodgers, though, as he set u in this fixture with his tried and tested 4-2-3-1 formation, which transitioned to a 4-3-3 when Celtic were counter-attacking and pressing. McGregor and Hatate operated in a double pivot. Taylor did still come inside now and again, but nowhere near as much as under Postecoglou.

Reo Hatate runs the midfield

Hatate was unplayable for large portions of the match. His poise on the ball and his understanding of the space were exceptional. Almost everything that Celtic did well involved the midfielder.

He played an excellent pass to release Abada for the first goal of the match, with the ball in behind allowing the Israeli to assist Maeda. He also had a crucial role in Celtic’s third as he showed great strength in the middle of the park and got a pass off to Abada which turned a potentially dangerous situation into an attacking opportunity.

Hatate had some phenomenal touches during the game and looked a class above almost everyone on the pitch.

Hart shows his deficiencies again

Celtic conceded early in proceedings, and unfortunately, a lot of the blame has to go to Joe Hart between the sticks.

His failure to hold onto a tame shot from the Marinos attacker amounted to a tap-in for the home side, in what was a pretty comical goal to concede. Despite making a couple of decent saves in the game, that early mistake will stick in the minds of many observers looking on.

One of Ange Postecoglou's first signings just under two years ago, Hart has been a tremendous servant for Celtic in a period of change for the club, but it is becoming abundantly clear that this area needs strengthening. Hart was hooked at half-time in place of Ben Siegrist, with both goalkeepers getting 45 minutes of action each in Japan.

However, although early on in his reign, Brendan Rodgers has to address this developing situation happening in front of him. An improvement must be made in the goalkeeping position if he and his team are to make strides on the European stage. Hart's position should be under threat - if it wasn't already.

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Defensive frailties must be ironed out

Despite Celtic's firepower being on show in droves in proceedings, their frailties at the back were laid out bare for all to see in today's friendly match.

From Hart's mistake for the first goal to Greg Taylor's slack play for the second, Celtic's defending for the duration of the game was sketchy, to say the least. Starfelt did not cover himself in much glory for Marinos' third either, though their fourth was a well-worked goal from the hosts from their perspective. Yokohama's fifth was similarly impressive from the home side, whilst the sixth came as a result of a mistake from Alexandro Bernabei.

Despite it being early on in pre-season, Rodgers and his side must cut out these mistakes before they return to competitive action against Ross County. Conceding six goals would be unacceptable in Europe, never mind in a pre-season friendly in Japan.

Still, this is what pre-season is for, and the manager will assess where and how his side can improve on what transpired at Yokohama.