Celtic do enough to ensure return of league title


Having been ahead only to be pegged back for the second time in a fortnight against Newco, there was a deflated feel inside Celtic Park at the end of the game yesterday.  After taking the lead through a Daizen Maeda – Jota combination, Celtic created enough chances to put the game out of sight.  They didn’t.

Newco equalised with the best move of the game and thereafter had a hatful of opportunities to win the game and cut the deficit at the top of the table.  They also failed in this objective.  Celtic remain six points clear with three games remaining, it is now only a matter of when, not if, they will win back their title.

Just as at Hampden last month, Celtic opened poorly, unable to pass through a man-for-man Newco press.  The first chance of the game fell to Ryan Kent, who ghosted past Anthony Ralston but did not make a clean contact on the cross, his effort drifted wide.

Maeda failed to make an impact with his first two crosses from the left but his third was drilled into the six-yard box.  TV replays showed Borna Barisic repeatedly check over his shoulder for an attack by Jota, but the Portuguese only had eyes for the cross, which he converted without too much trouble from the Newco left back, who will now be familiar with Celtic wingers running from behind him to score.

Newco took control of the game after the interval until Giorgos Giakoumakis and Nir Bitton replaced Matt O’Riley and Kyogo on the hour.  In the minutes that followed, Celtic were on top, but could not solidify their lead.  That period ended when Newco strung seven passes together inside the Celtic half that released Sakala with a clear shot at goal inside the box, which he finished well.

With home advantage and a significantly lighter playing schedule, you may have expected Celtic to finish the game the stronger, but the opposite was true.  Sakala hit the post and had another great chance as Newco piled forward looking for a goal that would keep their title chances alive.

It was a great game of football but by no means a classic Celtic performance.  Still, the result ensured the league title will return to Celtic Park for the 10th time in 11 seasons.

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  2. SFTB @ 12.08



    Poor defensively — your stats mark you out as a Bronski / SPL boy.



    Our performance in the EuL / EuCL — you might have heard of them / Thursday nights on BT — would suggest that we have a lot to learn regarding the defensive side of football.



    Sorry if you missed the evidence on display yesterday — there was quite a lot — but we were again poor defensively.



    RK was not handled well in the first half — MF not doing enough to support the FB.


    FS was not dealt with well in the second half and if he had a bit more class he could have had a hat trick and really spoiled our day — the MF had evaporated by the time he took his goal.



    Consequently dream on with your Hame’ll dae me view of our defence.



    So my main point stands — we are not good enough defensively but the SPL does not highlight our weaknesses while the EuL / EuCL do and that is nowhere good enough if we want to be players in the CL and not tourists.

  3. B78



    if your about, what did CCV say or do that makes you think he wont come to celtic ?

  4. Getting over the line is all that’s important, doing it while not having them gain on us is a bonus

  5. Yesterday was a massive result. Whilst it was a bit disappointing to lose the half time lead, I would’ve bitten your hand off for a draw before the game. A defeat yesterday would’ve brought red-hot pressure on us for the remaining games but the title is now effectively ours.



    We need to look at the season as a whole and apply some context when we get nervy about below par performances such as the 2nd half yesterday. 1 year ago today we lost 4-1 at Ibrox to go 23 points behind them. We rebuilt a team with a new coach and we have been relentless in our results – unbeaten in 29 league games – and are 6 points clear of a decent, strong side who are in the semi finals of the Europa League.



    Maybe our tiredness in games comes down to the type of intense training we did earlier in the season which Ange needed for the type of game he wants us to play. With our Japanese bhoys, going from the J League to our league without a break will be a factor.



    Notwithstanding the concerns about losing CCV and to a lesser extend for me, Jota we will see a much stronger team next year.



    Trust in Ange and We Shall Not Be Moved.



    Paul67 – great to see Martin42 yesterday and in brilliant form!

  6. Our game management was exceptionally poor. This and the fact we weren’t allowed to play our normal game and could not gain control tactically or of the flow of the game. This seemed to rattle us (not for the first time) and knock us out of our stride. I think thems also know we don’t finish games well and upped the ante. The timing of the lost goal didn’t help because we were left in a stick or twist position towards the end. The uncertainty was almost disastrous in terms of the result.



    All of these factors suggest we need too improve significantly on the huge strides already taken. It would appear that GVBs more pragmatic approach is mildly trumping Ange’s idealist approach. How this will play out next season domestically will depend on personnel in and out this summer on both sides of the city. As for the Champions league, yes the music and the atmosphere will be great as will the ££ but the way we play and the naivety gives me the fear.

  7. For those in Australia



    Is there anyone in the A league that you think Ange will go after in the summer transfer window ?


    Is there anyone in Japan he will go after ?



    For those in Scotland


    anyone in our leagues you think we should sign ?



    For those in England


    Anyone we should be after ? I caught some stats on Tonev today, 3rd most fouled player in the premiership, and high marks from the debating panel about his style, we did miss something good there.

  8. Balanced piece by Tom English on BBC Sport this morning. He pays homage to both sides for the game and the season in the correct measure; not so far removed from Paul’s piece above, but understandably with more detail.



    We were lucky in the end & once more profligate earlier on. Our overall performance underwhelming – the result seminal.



    The mixing & handshakes of players, managers & backroom staff on the pitch at the end of the game was pleasing to see – exactly how it should be.

  9. St Stivs,


    Normally I agree with many of your posts,but not your last one on Hatate.Really don’t care what the Science guy says about his running etc.Its plain to see to everyone watching,that the boy is just not at it.A shadow of the player of the first couple of Months .We can all see it.There is a reason for it,and to the great majority that I have heard or read comments,he looks” Totally feked”.Don’t need any expert to tell us different.We are watching it.

  10. CL — we know its out there and will now have to be faced.


    We need to get ourselves up to speed and well prepared.


    We had 2 CL elect sides in our EuL group this season.


    So we can’t escape CL quality even if we wanted too.



    Take the money


    Deliver on a growth agenda.


    Build for the future and forget about Govan.



    If we are not good enough to be competitive in the CL then that is our issue not theirs.

  11. out of everything that could have happened yesterday, a win to secure the league, or a draw to maintain the same gap, or god forbid a defeat that would have ratched up the pressure on our young team, then the potential for trouble on and off the pitch, their horrible insulting song book, bad refereeing, and biased commentary, what I was really really concerned about was if the backroom staff would give each other hugs and kisses in a mutual respect spirit of corinthian brotherhood.



    said nobody ever,

  12. Back to Basics - Glass Half Full on

    Madmitch, respectfully



    … I don’t instinctively disagree with some of your observations about where we are as a group …



    … although I’d call many of them areas for improvement rather than weaknesses.


    (Semantics married to perceptions perhaps)



    Data and outcomes can have an irritating habit of contradicting, rather than affirming, perception and opinion (for all of us).



    Celtic have lost 4 domestic games this season.



    3 by a single goal in the early days when Ange was pulling it together.



    And one two weeks ago when, despite playing badly (opinion), the team that defeated us needed


    extra time (fact)


    an offside goal (fact)


    and a compliant referee (opinion)



    We’re the top goalscorers in the league by a distance.



    We’ve conceded the fewest goals in the league by a distance.



    We’re doing a lot right.



    Enough to win a league and a cup this season.



    Personally, I believe we’ll do more “righter” again next season and be even better.



    Hail hail



    Keep The Faith

  13. DAVID17 on 2ND MAY 2022 12:40 PM



    It’s easier chasing than being chased, as both teams have found this season



    No coincidence they’ve found their form after they went behind us in the league and ours has dipped a bit after going top



    They might be mildly trumping us at the moment but every season has periods of good and poorer form. Over the piece, and particularly taking our start into consideration we are the better team.

  14. TURKEYBHOY on 2ND MAY 2022 12:44 PM


    St Stivs,





    Normally I agree with many of your posts,but not your last one on Hatate.






    I dont think the manager cannot see when Hatate has ran his socks off, and he subs him.


    why he starts him, tells me he rates him higher and values him more than the other midfielders on the bench, I bet he starts against the purple huns.

  15. prestonpans bhoys on

    Yes I was surprised some called it a great game too. Interesting yes, skilful yes in small patchs but with three games to go, performance is out the window, just get results👏

  16. !!Bada Bing!! on

    I don’t think AP is doing Hetate any favours by playing him just now, he’s…..take your pick…..knackered, out of touch,lacking confidence etc,i thought McGregor was on his own in midfield yesterday

  17. Afternoon all.



    In the bad books for my 12 hour session yesterday 😥😥😥



    You would think I would know better at my age. Doh.



    D :(

  18. quadrophenian on

    Honest, sober appraisal of the gemme Paulo.






    SAINT STIVS on 2ND MAY 2022 12:41 PM


    For those in Australia


    Is there anyone in the A league that you think Ange will go after in the summer transfer window ?






    Am just watching a match featuring young right back called Lewis Miller, who plays alongside Cummings at Central Coast. Twenty-one, tall big lump of a boy with great pace, deft touch and tough-nut attitude.



    The other is Nestory Irankunda at Adelaide; 16 yrs; built like a young Tyson, v raw but a lethal shot on him.



    Of the two, I reckon Miller could be most readily coached to required standard.

  19. A : are we knackered in the second half of games or am I just reacting to the ‘should have hammered them ‘feeling?



    B: If we are knackered in the second half of games, should we look at developing more on field tactics to calm down a bit.



    : Use 3 subs every game with 30 to go?

  20. When we were off form we drew against them in normal time over two games. We could have won both



    When they were off form we beat them 3-0 at Celtic Park and 2-1 at theirs. They never looked like getting a point out of either



    Our results in the league, through good and bad form have been exceptional since September.



    I think we’ll win the league next season

  21. !!Bada Bing!! on

    jackiemac- it’s a good point, Ange has recently put subs on earlier in games that we sre falling out of, i think the Bhoys have put monumental effort this season, catching up a wee bit now

  22. Saint Stivs on

    Someone mentioned a more pragmatic approach.


    Recently I felt it has been there, Ange has brought on Niro or McCarthy on occassions, and our swash buckling all out attack is reigned in a bit as we try to deny the other team space, and we will hit on the break.


    People previously complained, he doesnt make subs early enough, recently though, he has been bringing 3 on at the 60 minute mark, whether they have made us better is open to opinions, others mentioned swapping out 5 subs actually disrupts a rhythm, takes some settling down.



    I watched the whole game again just nown. Some composure in front of goal would help, we are rushing snatching swinging at shops, maeda, jota, hatate, they all do it. Kyogo can be a genius, but that playing the very edge of offside, often staying offside in a passage of play, takes himself out as a passing option, its frustrating for team mates.



    Yesterday there was some chat around why are thems taking it so well, and it is because they do believe they are going to a UEFA Final and will win the cup, hopefully neither happens.



    I cant wait for Ange to get that trophy.

  23. B2B @ 12.49



    You are correct — we are doing a lot right.


    Football is about a lot more than the SPL — flat track bully is never a good look.



    However our defensive performance only works up to a certain level and after that we are a plaything for better sides — that needs to change.



    We do have all too often a glass jaw / second half slump — just a case that we can protect it well.



    As noted over the past 4 weeks — we have a lot of work to do to carry on the improvement that AP has made this season.

  24. Saint Stivs on

    now having said all that i missed the point i actually wanted to make, I do prefer a bit of smarter game management rather than the Hart rush and pass all the time option, it did invite pressure on us.



    stick or twist was a good description.

  25. Q @ 12.57



    We need to work the Aus market hard.


    Work every angle we have to improve the youths and the first team squad.

  26. Garngad to Croy on

    Great result Celtic if not performance and hopefully we will get over the line sooner rather than later. The fact that we had a chance to wrap up the league with 3 games to go is a remarkable turn-a-round. I could see from the beginning that Ange was trying to build something special but I doubted he would achieve it so quickly.



    ‘In Ange we (should) Trust’

  27. kevinlasvegas on

    Good Afternoon Bhoys,



    Saw some jitters yesterday, not many title winners in our first 11, inexperienced at this end of the season.



    The big man has worked wonders in 10 months. But the bhoys are looking tired, everyone has played a part in the come back this year. Get the title and have a look at the market and see what’s what.



    We have the money. Csc




  28. A week on Saturday, Callum will be handed the Premiership trophy and the curtain will come down on our season. Great to win it back at the first attempt, sweeter still as we couldn’t reasonably have expected it 10 months ago.



    The League season will commence on July 30/31 and the CL Groups on September 6/7. That gives us the longest break without a competitive match for a very long time. How Celtic use that time will go a long way in determining how next season pans out. If CCV and Jota both decide on Dingwall and plastic spaghettihad no more, then I reckon we will need at least four top spec newbies to have a chance of European football after Christmas.



    A well planned and stress free summer would be lovely. But this is Celtic, and some element of calamity usually lurks around the corner. Has anyone actually asked Ange Postecoglou if he will be staying for a second season ?

  29. Pingback: Celtic do enough to ensure return of league title | Celtic FC News Now

  30. bigrailroadblues on

    BelmontBrian, good afternoon mate. I’m in the Victoria Bar, still not shaken off the cold. D66 a man needs a hobby. 😂

  31. An Tearmann on

    That’s a podium Por Cierto



    Yesterday 6 ahead.


    Today 6 ahead.


    Game analysis towards taking 10 out of 11 titles.




  32. quadrophenian on

    MADMITCH – 1.08 – Re working A League market hard:



    Research last week says it’s the 8th best league in the world for blooding U-21 players:





    Generally, Aus League is a bit hit-and-miss for true talent – most young prospects go to Belgium, Denmark, Germany – then come back after not making the grade there.


    Tough Kiwi Left Back called Liberato Cacace just transferred to Empoli in Serie A for 3Mill from Sint Truden – but dont think he fits Ange style.



    Ange’s scout contacts will be extensive – but on reqd quality/energy I suspect he will plunder other markets first to find more match-ready prospects.

  33. Twenty or so years I watched the Craig Bellamy/Stan Petrov roadshow at Ibrox. The oldfirm aka sevco were second best in every department. But they won the title – assisted by a linesman who invented a penalty at Tynecastle.


    From being nervy before yesterday’s game I was convinced at HT that at least one second half chance would be converted. It didn’t happen. For the first time this season we got a bit lucky. That said, we are now inches from the summit. Nothing I’ve seen or heard about Ange suggests that we will fail.